Tompkins County Public Library

Friday, March 9, 2012

Three small but distinctive exhibits, open in the Avenue of the Friends and Youth Services

A book and photographic exhibit of the Life and Work of Nobel Prize winning poet Czeslaw Milosz presented by Ithaca City of Asylum opened on March 2 and will be on display in the Avenue of the Friends through April 15 2012.

The exhibit features photographs recording Milosz’ 1981 return visit to Poland, after 30 years of exile to the United States and books printed by underground publishers. Pieces included in the exhibit are on loan from Pawel Bakowski, former owner of the Literary Salon, an underground publishing house based in Warsaw and current visiting scholar at Cornell University.

Milosz’ work was banned in Poland until 1980 when he was awarded the Noble Prize.  At that time, Bakowski and his friends in the underground publishing business, known as NOWa, began printing and distributing his work.  NOWa members faced political persecution for their actions, but kept Milosz' work available throughout the country.

On April 1 at 2:00 PM in the BorgWarner Community Room, the poetry of Milosz will be celebrated with a reading by members of the local Polish and poetry communities. Bakowski will also give a short account of the story behind this collection of photos and books. 

An exhibit Celebrating 40 years of Charlotte’s Web will be on display March 10 through April 15, 2012.  Presented by the Family Reading Partnership, this exhibit features E.B. White’s personal papers and photos on-loan from Cornell University’s Kroch Library Rare Book and Manuscript Collection.The papers include a facisimile of the first 8 pages from the author’s original mauscript together with letters from school children.  Artwork and writing from area elementary students will also be on display.

Roma PalsPaintings by Roma children
To celebrate International Roma Day, April 8, and as part of their project Getting to Know the New Europe, the Cornell Institute for European Studies (CIES) is hosting a Roma Awareness month.   During March and April CIES is sponsoring an exhibit of paintings entitled Roma Pals which will be displayed in the Youth Services Department through the end of  April 2012.

This collection of vividly colored paintings, Roma Pals, was created twenty years ago by Roma children under the tutelage of Slovakian art teacher Jan Sajko.  Jan Sajko became widely known because of his ability to awaken the artistic talent of his primary school students in a very poor Romany settlement, Jarovnice, in eastern Slovakia. Having seen traditional teaching methods fail the Roma students, Sajko encouraged them to explore their own culture and history in their paintings and to create on their own terms. He also strove to teach students that through hard work they could change their lives; they were not condemned to the life of poverty and idleness that has been the fate of so many Roma in Europe. The works by Sajko’s students have been shown around the world, and have won many awards.  We are pleased to present them here at TCPL.

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