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Whizzo the Clown

Clowning Around this Throwback Thursday!

Do you remember Whizzo? “Whizzo’s Wonderland?” "Whizzolark?" This clown was a serious entertainer!

"He had one goal: entertain children and make them laugh."

Read the latest jocohistory blog entry: Frank Wiziarde: Entertainer, Artist, Whizzo the Clown

For even more local history visit jocohistory.org or follow our hashtag on Twitter.

Do you remember Whizzo? “Whizzo’s Wonderland?” "Whizzolark?" This clown was a serious entertainer!

"He had one goal: entertain children and make them laugh."

Read the latest jocohistory blog entry: Frank Wiziarde: Entertainer, Artist, Whizzo the Clown

For even more local history visit ... Continue »

  • Sterling Witt
    Sterling Witt Sterling Witt
  • Sterling Witt
    Sterling Witt Sterling Witt

Now at Lackman: Sterling WittSterling Witt

Monday, May 7, 2018 to Tuesday, Aug 21, 2018 at Lackman Building

Melodic and aggressive, abrasive and pretty, political and universal, the music and visual art of Sterling Witt has many starting points. In addition to writing catchy, rocking and thought-provoking tunes, Witt is an accomplished painter whose visual work is as vibrant as his music. Encompassing everything from dazzlingly abstract portraits to 3D works that confound, entertain and inspire, Witt brings high-voltage energy to whatever he creates.

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What comes first – the medium or the message? Tell me a little about the work that will be on view.

I started painting the word Love in an effort to bring more love into my life. I figured if I painted the word, then I would be thinking about it and by thinking about it I would manifest more love in my life. I also think the Love Paintings series have a positive effect on the surroundings of where they are displayed. I chose the watercolor medium because I wanted it to be a challenge for myself to control the paint. Using watercolors with enough water will create a spontaneous result that forces me to act fast and often deal with whatever happens. Being slightly out of control of the painting creates the qualities I'm looking for in the end.

 

What do you feel is your role as an artist?

To express myself and make quality art. I am not one of those people who think anything is art because someone says it is. Composition ought to strike you from across the room. You shouldn't have to think about it, although you might want to think about it after you've enjoyed it thoroughly.  Making art is a personal exploration for me. Often what I appreciate in art is unattractive to others. That old adage: One man’s trash is another mans treasure, is so true for me.

 

What influences your practice/works?

I'm always in search of understanding the world I live in. Discovering the truth--whatever that is--seems to be my personal mission and I assume this has an influence over my creations. Some people think everything is figured out and understood and the world is no longer a place of mystery. Yet a person can spend their entire life studying one subject and never know everything about it. If you think the world is boring and just dirt, rocks, air and water, then the world tends to show you only the mundane because that’s what you believe and what you are open to seeing. For me, it seems the more I understand the less I am certain I know. The world is a mysterious place. Just think: every few years science disproves what was once believed to be fact.

 

Who are the other artists you look to for inspiration? And what about their works do you like? 

The Italian painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo never ceases to amaze me. He created some of the greatest illusions and fantasy works. Artists like Arcimboldo make me wonder if art is progressing or digressing as time goes on. He was making his art in the 1500s, and that's incredible to me. The Renaissance Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch is another amazing artist and creates some of the most interesting depictions of historical events, both fantasy and illusion. He was painting in the 1400s--that’s 600 years ago! This is a strong reminder to me that we are not on the cutting edge as much as we often think we are. These guys were making their art in a time when there were no phones, no Internet, no cars, and no electricity. Go have a look at their art and tell me that it's not astonishing.

 

What other writings do you recommend reading to have a better understanding of your artworks and your art practice/process? Please look through our on-line catalog and provide any links to resources that you would recommend.

The Magic of Believing by Claude M Bristol is a great book and was one of the first books I ever read about creating what you want in your life. I have read and reread this book. I would recommend it to anyone. No matter who you are or what you believe, this is a powerful book.  https://jocolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/161746036?active_tab=sum...

 

 

Melodic and aggressive, abrasive and pretty, political and universal, the music and visual art of Sterling Witt has many starting points. In addition to writing catchy, rocking and thought-provoking tunes, Witt is an accomplished painter whose visual work is as vibrant as his music. Encompassing everything from dazzlingly abstract portraits to 3D works that confound, entertain and inspire, Witt brings high-voltage energy to whatever he creates.

*

What comes first – the medium or the message? Tell me a little about the work that will be on view.

I started painting the word Love in an effort to bring more love into my life. I figured if I painted the word, then I would be thinking about it and by... Continue »

6 by 6 activity space

6 by 6: Ready to Read and Early Literacy

The Importance of Early Literacy

From day one, a baby’s brain is busy learning about their environment. From the sounds that they hear to the things that they grasp with tiny fingers, every experience helps build connections in the brain. Think back to high school biology. Do you remember hearing the word synapse in those classes? That’s what those connections are. Over time, a network of synapses creates a framework upon which all formal learning will reside. One role of the Johnson County Library is to help children—and the adults who care about them—build that critical framework.

Why the Library

The Library recognized its unique role in brain development many years ago and created an early literacy program designed to be applicable and approachable for everyone: 6 by 6 Ready to Read. The program focuses on six pre-reading skills to help kids get ready for formal education. The Library doesn’t teach reading. Instead, we provide tools so learning to read is easier when the time comes.

Storytime, Activity Spaces and Outreach

Last year, more than 41,000 adults and children attended a library storytime. We plan and present storytimes separately for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. Each storytime leader demonstrates the pre-reading skills with songs, rhymes, movement activities and, of course, high-quality children’s books. We are hopeful these learning lessons continue in the car and at home, because it’s the parents and caregivers who have the most influence on a child’s learning; librarians just help start the process.

Literacy Guidance

At Johnson County Library, we have a special team of early literacy specialists who plan the activities in our 6 by 6 activity spaces. These areas are more than a random assemblage of toys. Instead, each center includes activities designed with an intent to reinforce one more of our six pre-reading skills. Play is best when shared, so we strongly encourage adults to play with their children to maximize the impact. Although these spaces vary in size from one location to the next, they are open whenever the library is open and make a great destination for afternoon playdates or bad weather days.

Outside the Library

Of course, not all families can come to the library so we also take our early literacy magic on the road, visiting childcare centers, preschools, park facilities and Parents As Teachers play centers in Blue Valley, Shawnee Mission and De Soto. The Library offers morning workshops for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) groups and free, for-credit trainings for preschool teachers.

With assistance from the Friends of the Johnson County Library, we also present books for waiting areas at Shawnee Mission Birth Center, Kansas Department of Children & Families, Johnson County health clinics, and WIC offices. To paraphrase Disney’s The Little Mermaid, we want to be where the people are.

The Importance of Early Literacy

From day one, a baby’s brain is busy learning about their environment. From the sounds that they hear to the things that they grasp with tiny fingers, every experience helps build connections in the brain. Think back to high school biology. Do you remember hearing the word synapse in those classes? That’s what those connections are. Over time, a network of synapses creates a framework upon which all formal learning will reside. One role of the Johnson County Library is to help children—and the adults who care about them—build that critical framework.

Why the Library

The Library recognized its unique role in brain development many years ago and... Continue »

Readers Advisory

Find a Great Book to Read

In a rapidly changing world, the Library has come to mean different things to different people – local arts incubator, MakerSpace, or focal point for community engagement – yet for many people the library is still a place for books. Some people see the rows and rows of neatly shelved books at the local library and find them wonderfully enticing, but others find those stacks looming and intimidating, feeling utterly lost in what SHOULD be the simple act of finding a good book.

Find it Here

A book that could be perfect for one person might be absolutely of no interest to another. Or the book that seems to hit all the right points might turn out to be too slow, too twisty, or too unfocused when you actually sit down to read it. Luckily, the Johnson County Library has resources to connect you to that perfect book. Our library staff can help you find that ideal title in a vast array of genres, like space opera, a sweeping historical romance or a gritty thriller.

In addition, we’ll ask you about your favorite appeal factors. Do you like novels that are fast-paced with lots of action? Alternatively, would you prefer novels that are slower, richer and take their time? Do you like books set in a specific place, like the back alleyways of a crime-ridden city where police track down a ruthless killer? Or, would you prefer wild, far-away worlds of adventure filled with vampires or elves? Maybe you want a title that would be perfect for a book group, full of meaty topics? Whatever the need, we understand no two readers are the same and reading suggestions should reflect that.

Making Connections

Not only does the Library have the expertise of our staff with the training to listen to your tastes and help you find what you want, but we also have an online catalog containing connections to great content, accessible with a click of a button. One of our databases, NoveList, can even give you author read-alike lists.

No matter how busy or pressed for time you are, the Library likely has something that fits what you need. Today’s Library is not only about books – Johnson County Library also has eBooks, downloadable audiobooks, books on CD, plus movies and TV shows on DVD. Check out our most recent Staff Picks, and stop in to chat recommendations with us soon!

In a rapidly changing world, the Library has come to mean different things to different people – local arts incubator, MakerSpace, or focal point for community engagement – yet for many people the library is still a place for books. Some people see the rows and rows of neatly shelved books at the local library and find them wonderfully enticing, but others find those stacks looming and intimidating, feeling utterly lost in what SHOULD be the simple act of finding a good book.

Find it Here

A book that could be perfect for one person might be absolutely of no interest to another. Or the book that seems to hit all the right points might turn out to be too slow, too twisty, or too unfocused when you actually... Continue »

Camping

Throw Down a Sleeping Bag, it's Throwback Thursday!

Whether you choose to acknowledge June as the "National Great Outdoors Month" or June as the "National Camping Month," we here at the Library take this controversial position: "Why not celebrate both?!"

"It was a perfect weekend, no wind, sunny, and warm. 16 families camped, swapped stories, fished, boated, water-skied, and some even loafed." 

It sure seems like these happy campers are keen on camping! Did these 1965 "Prairie Dog Campers" from Overland Park and Prairie Village ever get that tent assembled? Or, are they still out there to this very day? To find out, you'll just have to read the story about this fascinating tidbit of local lore

And for even more local history, visit jocohistory.org or follow our hashtag on Twitter.

Whether you choose to acknowledge June as the "National Great Outdoors Month" or June as the "National Camping Month," we here at the Library take this controversial position: "Why not celebrate both?!"

"It was a perfect weekend, no wind, sunny, and warm. 16 families camped, swapped stories, fished, boated, water-skied, and some even loafed." 

It sure seems like these happy campers are keen on camping! Did these 1965 "Prairie Dog Campers" from Overland Park and Prairie Village ever get that tent assembled? Or, are they still out there to this very day? To find out... Continue »

Two patrons at a catalog station

Behind the Scenes: Interlibrary Loans

As a library patron, you may have been faced with this dilemma: You arrive at the library armed with a list of resources you need to expand your knowledge on one of your favorite subjects, only to find out the library doesn’t own the book you want! What do you do? That’s where the librarians in the Interlibrary Loan (ILL) department come into play. The ability to obtain books and materials from all over the world is one of the best-hidden gems of the library.

Evolving Through the Years

In 1886 U.L. Rowell, Librarian at the University of California, Berkeley, sought permission to borrow a book from another library, thus creating the Interlibrary Loan program. What started with a simple form to fill out by hand, developed into a complex system of online databases used today to easily share items between libraries worldwide. OCLC, or the Online Computer Library Center, is a database with over 30 million entries of materials held in more than 10,000 libraries, and is the main resource used in Interlibrary Loan requests.

What We Do

Here at Johnson County Library, our Interlibrary Loan Department employs three full-time staff and five part-time staff. We process around 1,700 items monthly to lend to other libraries and borrow around 1,400 items monthly for our own patrons. ILL uses couriers who drive across Kansas, Missouri, Texas and Colorado to deliver materials, as well as the U.S. Postal service. We can attempt to borrow anything from books, to DVD’s to cake pans! Recently the department obtained a plastic model of a human ear from Idaho for a patron!

How it Works

As a resident of Johnson County, you have access to the Interlibrary Loan Service we provide. You are able to have up to 15 requests at a time, and you can manage much of it on the Interlibrary Loan account page through our website. All you need is your library card number and pin. You can access Discovery, which is the worldwide catalog used to place a request for an item. ILL request are available for three weeks with no renewals. If patrons wish to put in another request for the book, ILL staff can try to get the item from another lender.

If we are able to obtain it, the item will be waiting at the branch you select in just a few short weeks. Be sure to keep the white strap wrapped around the item so we know where to send it back. It’s also recommended to have an email address on file for prompt notifications and communication, as well as to obtain requested articles. And don’t worry, if you’re stuck our Librarians are always happy to help!

 

As a library patron, you may have been faced with this dilemma: You arrive at the library armed with a list of resources you need to expand your knowledge on one of your favorite subjects, only to find out the library doesn’t own the book you want! What do you do? That’s where the librarians in the Interlibrary Loan (ILL) department come into play. The ability to obtain books and materials from all over the world is one of the best-hidden gems of the library.

Evolving Through the Years

In 1886 U.L. Rowell, Librarian at the University of California, Berkeley, sought permission to borrow a book from another library, thus creating the Interlibrary Loan program. What started with a simple form to fill out by... Continue »

King Louie

King of Throwback Thursday!

The Arts & Heritage Center’s 1st Anniversary is on Sunday, June 10th. Come and celebrate anytime in the month of June! The Johnson County Museum, located inside the Arts & Heritage Center, is open Monday – Saturday 9:00 am – 4:30 pm.

Read the latest jocohistory blog post: Fun with Family at King Louie West.

For even more local history visit jocohistory.org or follow our hashtag on Twitter.

The Arts & Heritage Center’s 1st Anniversary is on Sunday, June 10th. Come and celebrate anytime in the month of June! The Johnson County Museum, located inside the Arts & Heritage Center, is open Monday – Saturday 9:00 am – 4:30 pm.

Read the latest jocohistory blog post: Fun with Family at King Louie West.

For even more local history visit ... Continue »

  • Amanda Burkhart paintings at Antioch Library
    Amanda Burkhart paintings at Antioch Library Amanda Burkhart paintings at Antioch Library
  • Amanda Burkhart painting
    Amanda Burkhart painting Amanda Burkhart painting
  • Amanda Burkhart painting
    Amanda Burkhart painting Amanda Burkhart painting
  • Amanda Burkhart painting
    Amanda Burkhart painting Amanda Burkhart painting

Now at Antioch: Amanda BurkhartAmanda Burkhart

Wednesday, May 9, 2018 to Tuesday, Aug 21, 2018 at Antioch Library

Whether Amanda Burkhart is painting an image of a single star or the deepest corner of the knowable universe, the end result inspires awe. Burkhart is “fascinated with the humbling vastness of the earth and skies, eternally painted by light and atmosphere.” Her work combines brilliant washes of natural color with meticulous renderings of star-studded skies.

Whether Amanda Burkhart is painting an image of a single star or the deepest corner of the knowable universe, the end result inspires awe. Burkhart is “fascinated with the humbling vastness of the earth and skies, eternally painted by light and atmosphere.” Her work combines brilliant washes of natural color with meticulous renderings of star-studded skies.

Kids create

Kids Create

Kids and parents will interact with Library staff and learn about Library resources while working on a summer craft. Create a gift or make something just for you!  Ages 4-8. Younger children will require the help of caregivers to make crafts.

This program is at several locations, see the full schedule »

Kids and parents will interact with Library staff and learn about Library resources while working on a summer craft. Create a gift or make something just for you!  Ages 4-8. Younger children will require the help of caregivers to make crafts.

This program is at several locations, see the full schedule »

Read Local

Writing Contests

We love local authors here at the Library. In support of our home-grown talent, we invite submissions of poetry, fiction, and essays.

Each month we host a new contest with prizes including a $200 honorarium and a reading at the Library or The Writers Place. Read more about the guidelines and enter your original works here »

We love local authors here at the Library. In support of our home-grown talent, we invite submissions of poetry, fiction, and essays.

Each month we host a new contest with prizes including a $200 honorarium and a reading at the Library or The Writers Place. Read more about the guidelines and enter your original works here »

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