Tompkins County Public Library

Friday, April 29, 2016

"It Takes More Than Nostalgia" - A new exhibit from Historic Ithaca opens at TCPL

TCPL is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit in the Avenue of the Friends at Gallery Opening Night on Friday May 6.  The exhibit is sponsored by Historic Ithaca and will be on display through the end of June.

This photographic exhibition highlights key moments and contributions from Historic Ithaca’s 50-year history, beginning in 1966 when the loss of Old City Hall, and the threat of demolitions to come, galvanized community members.

                                         Clinton House by Constance Saltonstall c.1973 during restoration

Together they organized to create Historic Ithaca, in part to preserve historic architectural treasures in Ithaca and Tompkins County.  In addition, different artifacts found at “Significant Elements”, Historic Ithaca’s architectural salvage and re-use warehouse, are displayed in the exhibit cases.

For more information about Historic Ithaca and the salvage items which are all available for sale, call Christine O’Malley Preservation Services Coordinator at 607-0273-6633 or go to

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

TCPL presents "Four Artists"an exhibit curated by local art critic and curator Arthur Whitman

Big Moon by Madeleine Bialke
On April 29 Four Artists an exhibit featuring four talented picture-makers curated by Arthur Whitman will open at Tompkins County Public Library and will be on display through the end of June.

For Four Artists, local art critic and curator Arthur Whitman has assembled a quartet of diverse and talented picture-makers.  Madeleine Bialke was raised in Trumansburg and is currently completing an MFA decree in Painting from Boston University's School of Visual Arts.  In her paintings and prints, she takes a visionary approach to landscape that merges observtion and imagination.  Scout Dunbar is a former Ithacan and currently lives and works in New York City.  In her works on paper, she combines diverse technique and prsonal cosmology.  Stephen Phillips, a long-time local artist, brings a depth and subtlety of conception to the traditional genre of oil on canvas still life.  Gizem Vural is new to Ithaca and a rising talent in magazine and newspaper illustration.  Her digital cartoon imagery is concise and witty.

An opening reception will be held in conjunction with Gallery Opening Night on Friday, May 6, 2016.

This exhibit is made possible by the Tompkins County Public Library Foundation with grant support from the Community Arts Partnership of Tompkins County.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Ordinary People: Stories and Treasures

There is still time to visit TCPL to view the exhibit Ordinary People: Stories and Treasures, whch highlights the cultural experiences of the local Muslim community. This exhibit in the Avenue of the Friends will be on display through April 22.

When discussing the exhibit with curator Nagiane Lacka Arriaza and asking for signage describing 
the different cultural items on display such as the Prayer Rug, which is
 "Placed on the ground to create a clean space to sit and kneel in prayer; used by many Muslims around the world" I was interested in the comment she made.  "Items like a prayer rug as so common in my life that I find it hard to explain them.  I feel as if someone has asked me what a pillow or curtain is.  This process (of curating the exhibit) has been an amusing learning experience for me."

This sums up so well how Muslim culture is common place to Nagiane but different and strange to me and vice versa!!

Monday, March 21, 2016

New Exhibit Highlighting Local Muslim Experience opens in Avenue of the Friends

Ordinary People: Stories and Treasures, an exhibit highlighting the cultural experiences of the local Muslim community has opened in the Avenue of the Friends and will be on display through April 22.

Through family stories and heirlooms, “Ordinary People: Stories and Treasures” shares the values and struggles of Tompkins County residents who identify as Muslim and offers insight into the shared experiences that help bridge religious and cultural differences.
The exhibit was curated by Nagiane Lacka Arriaza, Hospitality Employment Training Program Coordinator at Greater Ithaca Activities Center (GIAC) with support from Islamic Community Outreach Services and GIAC.  For information about curator led tours of the exhibit please contact Nagiane Lacka Arriaza at

For more information about exhibits at TCPL, contact Exhibit Coordinator, Sally Grubb, at sgrubb@tcpl.orgor (607) 272-4557 extension 232.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Project for a Re-Volution in New York opens on February 5, 2016

The exhibit, Project for a Re-volution in New York, gets its theme of revolution from the eponymous novel by the French writer Alain Robbe-Grillet. While Robbe-Grillet’s work has been called a cross between an erotic and a detective novel, it follows a character’s fears of culture being subverted—in this case, a gritty 1970s New York City. It offers a window into a man’s fantasies of an overturning of cultural norms, where the underbelly of “rape, arson and murder” rises to the surface, thereby completing a kind of revolution. Note, the dual meaning of revolution, as it describes both a political upheaval and a rotation of social structures. 

The novel Project for a Revolution in New York describes the terrifying underbelly of the City in the 1970s; it proposes a vision of orderly society being overshadowed by apocalyptic lawlessness. But that is not the concern of this exhibit. We wish instead to borrow from the big picture ideas that Robbe-Grillet raises, an overturning (or revolution) of systems, social change, and an examination of what lies beneath cultural facades. 

Organizers Todd Ayoung and Krishna Ramanujan asked 22 contributing artists to take these themes and use them as a springboard for their own commentary and creations, without censorship. They asked them to use the ideas here to free-associate in the name of an interesting exhibit. While the title of the show contains ‘New York', the city and state are used as symbols for anywhere in the world where universal themes of revolution apply.   

Exhibiting artists include Curlee Holton, Kadie Salfie, Kim Asbury, Jim Costanzo, Greg Sholette, Floyd Hughes, Sowon Kwon, Jason van Staveren, Nestor Armando Gil, Antonio Serna, Krittika Rananujan, Suada Demirovic, Kara Lynch, Sarah Gotowka, Lucas W. Melkane, Patricia Capaldi, Elaine Angelopoulos, Kaleb Hunkele, Carlos Andrade, Allison Bolah, and Aaron Bass.

Performances at the opening reception include GK2, Aaron Burr Society and the Poet Melissa Tuckey.

This exhibit is made possible by the Tompkins County Public Library Foundation through generous support from the Community Arts Partnership. 

Downton Abbey Farewell - an Exhibit of Hats, Shoes and Accessories of the Downton Abbey Era

Tompkins County Public Library is hosting many events to celebrate the final PBS series Downton Abbey as well as presenting a special exhibit in the Avenue of the Friends during February, 2016.

Drawing from the Cornell Costume and Textile Collection, as well as the History Center in Tompkins County and the Lansing Historical Association, this exhibit extends our glimpse of life at Downton Abbey, capturing a variety of moments from the popular PBS series. Horseback riding,strolling the estate, dressing and being dressed…

The majority of the items on display are from the wardrobe of Gertrude Heim Remey, thoroughly documented and donated by her husband, Cornell alumnus Charles Mason Remey,to the Cornell Costume and Textile Collection. The Remeys resided in Washington DC but the wardrobe is comprised of pieces from home and abroad, picking up on European trends familiar to the women of Downton Abbey. We are fortunate to also include items donated by local individuals to the History Center of Tompkins County and the Lansing Historical Association, bringing the exhibit closer to home.

These are the material items of daily life, a privileged life but residual pieces from dialogues pased upstairs, downstairs, and the spaces in between.  Pieces that accompanied important conversations surrounding courtship, business, and schemes (sometimes one and the same).

The exhibit opens on Friday, February 5 and will be on display through the end of the month.

This exhibit has been made possible through the generosity of the Cornell Costume and Textile Collection in the Department of Fiber Science and Apparel Design with thands to Denise Green and Helen McLallen for their help.  Special thanks go to Catherine K. Blumenkamp whose expertis and invaluable help selecting and cataloging and displaying the items made the exhibit possible.  For further information please refer to 
Cornell Costume and Textile Colletion
The History Center in Tompkins County
The Lansing Historical Association

Friday, October 2, 2015

Streetscapes opens during Gallery Opening Night, Friday October 2nd

Streetscapes a collection of work that draws on creativity and inspiration from our urban surroundings.  Using a mixture of diverse media, artists explore the influence of the urban environment through color, energy, movement and personal experience culminating in sincere straight-from-the-gut expressions.  Streetscapes is an inherent appreciation of urban culture, in all its dangerous, poetic, authentic - and sometimes rebellious - glore.

The work of the artists featured in this exhibit can also be senn on buildings, electric boxes and in parking garages in the City and Town of Ithaca.

Streetscapes has been timed in conjunction with Get-Up State and is intend to bring all the power and vibrancy of the art created during this event inside the Library.

The exhibit is made possible with the support of the Tompkins County Public Library Foundation and grant support from the Community Arts Partnership of Tompkins County.