The Second Floor Gallery at Augusta State University’s Reese Library helps create an inviting atmosphere for study.
“We’re not just your archaic stack of books,” said outreach librarian Autumn Johnson.
“We realize we’re culturally diverse, and we need to reflect that.”
The gallery, which is in the main reception area on the second floor, features local artists, many of whom have ties to ASU.
For now, many of the artists are members of the Columbia County Artists Guild.
Works by Cyndy Epps and Angelika Selman-Bondar are on display through July 31.
Many of Epps’ paintings feature quiet escapes, such as gardens or streams. Her favorite piece in the gallery is titled Still and depicts two rowboats on the banks of a gentle stream.
“I like to try to take somebody to a different place,” she said. “I like to try to give you a break and get you out of your current little world.”
Angelika Selman-Bondar doesn’t have a favorite piece. She said to choose one would be like choosing a favorite child.
Selman-Bondar titled her display Images of Nature and Fantasy. She considers herself a multimedia artist. Her displayed pieces include sculpture as well as paintings. One shows a cat in a shadowbox with its tongue hanging out.
She titles her pieces in German – a nod to her heritage, she said.
While Epps draws inspiration from quiet places, Selman-Bondar said hers comes from a strong desire to create.
“I get inspiration from almost anything (and from) seeing things in a different way,” she said.
The differences between the two artists embody the value of the Second Floor Gallery, Epps said.
Students and faculty are exposed to a variety of artistic styles. What speaks to one person may not even seem like art to another, she said.
Outreach assistant Matthew Whittington said that occasionally the artwork on display can be incorporated into the curriculum. Last year, Meredith McPherson’s works based on Chinese calligraphy served as a backdrop for an Eastern/Asian art segment in humanities.
Classes were held in the library and included a demonstration of the Chinese flute and Zen poems, Whittington said.
But the gallery’s primary purpose is aesthetics.
“We want to create a nice environment for the students at ASU,” Whittington said. “The gallery was part of the master plan.”