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‘Dusk to Dawn’ art exhibit: Willis Library plays host to staff talent

‘Dusk to Dawn’ art exhibit: Willis Library plays host to staff talent

‘Dusk to Dawn’ art exhibit: Willis Library plays host to staff talent
July 11
09:14 2018

On the fourth floor of Willis Library opposite the elevator banks and past rows of books lies a moderately sized room with a few small windows that this time three years ago would have lain dormant. This has not been the case for the past two years however — within this room now hangs a variety of art pieces, from paintings on the walls to sculptures in glass cases, and even a collection of short stories and a station to listen to composed musical pieces.

This space has been transformed for the past two years during the summer into the annual “Dusk to Dawn” art exhibition, which features art from those who work at UNT’s libraries.

The exhibit’s reception on Monday was attended by the artists and their friends and family. There were 40 pieces of art submitted by 27 artists on display. The only requirement for the art was that they had to fall into one of the 10 categories, and each artist could only submit two artworks.

While this is only the second year that the Willis Library has hosted this event, it already has grown significantly over its first year which had an attendance of only 18 participants and 27 pieces.

“It is nice to kind of reveal those parts of yourself that you don’t always get to share,” said Joshua Sylve, one of the organizers of the event and the library’s marketing director. “This is a good opportunity to show people that we are mixed bags and that people have various skills. Even though they might be an accountant or they might be a counselor, they can also put together a beautiful illustration or painting.”

The “Dusk to Dawn” exhibit displays pieces of various media. This visitor is engaged by a drawing on wood. Josh Jamison

The event was organized by members of the library after a similar exhibit, “On My Own Time,” which included staff members of the entire university, was discontinued by the university. After the exhibit was stopped, members of the library staff decided to revive the idea after it was revealed that staff members were heavy contributors to the exhibit.

The decision to hold the event during the summer was made during the planning process and was chosen because the library already had a gallery space that remains vacant during the summer. While the Willis Library does hold larger exhibits on its fourth floor gallery during the school year, no exhibits were being held during the summer due to a lower visitor turnout.

The participants this year came from every division of the library — they were not restricted by their position, whether they are a teacher, librarian or student assistant. Even UNT’s Dean of Libraries Diane Bruxvoort decided that she too wanted to join the show and submit two pieces.

Dianne Jansing, the library’s communications specialist for the digital libraries division, was one of the original organizers of the event as well as one of the more experienced members of the staff who submitted art for the show. Jansing submitted two pieces to the show, one of three water colored flowers and another that was a series of black and white ink drawings. She also admits that while she has been painting in water colors for years — ever since she was in high school — she was never professionally taught. She instead taught herself.

“The second piece that I did was with watercolors, which is my first love,” Jansing said. “I am a self-taught water colorist. It is just a passion, I think about it all the time.”

The art exhibition also features music pieces written by library employees. Musician Dylan Hensley rocks out to his song “Bonnie Brae,” which he wrote under the stage name Saint Naive. Josh Jamison

While not as experienced in art as Jansing, Dylan Hensley also submitted two pieces to the exhibit — except not in painting but rather in one of the show’s new categories: music. Hensley, a senior in media arts who has also been making music for the past five years, works at the library’s front desk. While balancing his duties as a student and front desk library employee, Hensley is also attempting to produce his very own album with songs under his stage name Saint Naive. It was his wish to have these songs relate to those at UNT, which led him to choosing the songs that he used for the show.

“We kind of knew that we all had our own kind of hobbies and things that we do, but we don’t really share it with each other,” Hensley said.

While the show provides some increased traffic during the summer, Jansing and Hensley both said it also provides a means for library staff to get to know their coworkers better.

“I did see a lot of familiar faces that I work with at the library, but I might not know them,” Hensley said. “We all work at the same place but with different jobs and different positions. Now I feel like we were all there celebrating each other and our work, and we have a common interest in what we use to express ourselves with.”

While there are no specific plans for next year’s annual show, Jansing said that the overall goal of the show going forward was to make sure that the rest of the library staff felt comfortable submitting pieces and to open up the show to allow more forms of artistic expression. Jansing also said she knew of several people in the library who made art but had yet to show it off in one of the shows.

The “Dusk to Dawn” exhibit will stay open from now until Aug. 3 in the Sarah T. Hughes Reading Room on the fourth floor of Willis Library during the Reading Room’s hours. 

Featured Image: Visitors browse cases of work. Library employees express their creativity with poems, paintings, drawings and much more. Josh Jamison

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Shane Monaco

Shane Monaco

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