Melissa Kolstad is the curator for the Langdon Divers Gallery at the Fond du Lac Public Library in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. For her new quarterly series with the Library as Incubator Project, Mel talks about exhibitions and displays in the library’s gallery.

by Melissa Kolstad

Teen Power

 

I love our local library, which happens to be the Fond du Lac Public Library.  Currently in its thid iteration (most recently remodeled in 2003), it contains an art gallery in the main lobby!  How lucky are we?  It’s called the Langdon Divers Community Gallery, and the exhibits change monthly.  And this year, I became the curator!

My friend Susan Fiebig was the previous curator, and she did an incredible job for four straight years – that’s 48 consecutive exhibits!  When she stated that she was moving on, I told her that I could help her out.  She agreed, the library staff agreed, and I was on my way.  To say that I was nervous about it is an understatement – I know what’s involved in making sure an exhibit goes up without a hitch!  The key is to be prepared for any contingency – and thankfully Susan, who previously had owned her own gallery, gave me great advice.

I’m very happy to say that I’m already on my fourth exhibit, and it’s a fun one!  For the month of May we’re highlighting Teen Power!, which is a combination of the Upcycled Glam contest (where entrants had to create a special events outfit out of books and reused materials and fabric), and the Teen Photo Contest, whereby over 80 photos were submitted!  The grand prize winners for each contest were given a $250 Amazon gift certificate and the runners-up received wonderful prizes as well.  For the four Teen Photo contest winners, local gallerist Julie Balson of Gallery & Frame Shop donated the framing of their winning photos, which they get to keep.  It’s so wonderful having such amazing community support for our gallery.  And without further ado, here are the winners of the Upcycled Glam contest…..

Fond du Lac High School freshman Morgan Ruelle, who won for her submitted dress made entirely out of paint chips and a repurposed dress!

Fond du Lac High School freshman Morgan Ruelle, who won for her submitted dress made entirely out of paint chips and a repurposed dress!

Erin Soldner, an 11-grade homeschooled student, for her portrayal of a girl reading by an open window!

Erin Soldner, an 11-grade homeschooled student, for her portrayal of a girl reading by an open window!

It’s exhibits like these that make my job as volunteer curator so fun!  I had help this month from Sarah Newton, Childrens and Teen Services Coordinator, and Terri Fleming, the Community Information Coordinator, as we had to display 14 dresses and over 80 photos!  As you can see, the gallery is filled with the talents of teens all over Fond du Lac County.  Hooray for Teen Power!

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