Art on Tour to stop at Chalmer Davee Library

April 28, 2022 – For one week, the traveling exhibition Art On Tour which highlights the works of Minnesota Poet Laureate and quilter Gwen Westerman will be on display at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls Chalmer Davee Library.

Art on TourThe exhibit opens Monday, May 2, in the main area of the library across from the circulation desk. It features poetry and two quilt squares created by Westerman. The exhibit closes Monday, May 9, according to Lesley Dame, library administrative assistant.

“The addition of my poetry alongside my quilts brings together both forms of my piecing and layering processes in words and fabric. Both involve (a) focus on small pieces and finding a rhythm as they are put together to create something larger,” Westerman said of her quilt and poetry displays.

Westerman was named Minnesota’s Poet Laureate in September 2021. Westerman teaches American and Native Nations works of literature, technical communication and humanities at Minnesota State University, Mankato. She has received awards for her work on Dakota history and language, and recognition for her work as a scholar, poet and artist.

The exhibit is part of the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read in the St. Croix Valley, which aims to inspire meaningful conversation, artistic responses and new discoveries and connections in each community. The Davee Library was part of this year’s Big Read of “An American Sunrise” poems by Joy Harjo, Poet Laureate of the United States. The book revisits the homeland her ancestors were uprooted from in 1830 because of the Indian Removal Act.

Having travelling exhibits like this are good for both the campus and the community, Dame said. 

“It is about bringing people together to experience another genre and learn more about the area and diverse cultures,” she said. 

The library is open Monday through Thursday from 7:45 a.m. to midnight and Friday from 7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. The library will be open Saturday, May 7, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, May 8, from noon to midnight. For all hours, go here.

The library is also home to the Harriet Barry Gallery which is open to the university community, local artists and members of the public. In addition to the gallery, the library houses several free-standing glass cases as well as two recessed wall spaces for exhibits. The library adheres to the American Library Association's policy on exhibit spaces by providing exhibit space as a venue for individuals and groups to display works of art, publicize special events, promote a cause or an organization or show off a hobby.

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