Now Showing at Leawood: Alexandra Ames

Tuesday, September 4 to Friday, December 21, 2018

Alexandra Ames describes herself as an artistic “jack of all trades.” Her art draws upon elements of art nouveau, science fiction/fantasy art, music and the natural world. Much of her work offers vibrant depictions of various animals in their natural states. While she is a gifted painter, sculptor, graphic designer, animator, and a creator of video game art and assets, her real passion is for writing and illustrating.


Introduce yourself and describe your work and the media/genre you work in.

My name is Alexandra Ames. I have been creating, writing and drawing for my entire life. I am a writer, illustrator, sculptor, animator and graphic designer. I write fantasy children's stories and Science Fiction and Fantasy novels. The majority of my paintings and illustrations are acrylic on canvas or India ink and gouache on paper. I create sculptures out of Super Sculpey and other mediums. I am always trying to learn new or more efficient ways to create things.



Talk about the work that will be on view. What would you like people to know about it?

The work that is on view is all acrylic on canvas. They are all stylized animal or nature paintings. This collection is a compilation of a lot of experimentation, frustration, deep thoughts, intuition and fun.



What’s the most challenging thing about your creative process?

The most challenging thing about my creative process is knowing when I'm finished and not pushing things so far that I ruin it.


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

I find inspiration everywhere with other artists in all mediums and genres, but the artist that I have been inspired by my whole life are Alphonse Mucha and Frank Frazetta.


Alexandra's book and music recommendations:



Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz

The Firebird by Mercedes Lackey


Two Steps from Hell


Letting Loose @ the Library!

It was a huge success! The JCL Foundation's annual Library Lets Loose fundraising event was held September 29.  Nearly 500 Library lovers attended this festive fundraiser that featured unique and creative experiences, scrumptious food and drink pairings – and local music, artists, performers and creators. And, more than $120,000 was raised!

Proceeds from the event benefit the JCL Foundation which helps support Library programs and the collection. The Foundation provides funding for programs that go above and beyond what you would expect from a Library! Early childhood literacy, Summer Reading, Homework Help, teen writing programs and civic engagement are just a few of the many programs that make a difference in our community.

If you were unable to attend the evening’s festivities, the silent auction is still live online! You can bid on several stunning original pieces of art and jewelry, many of which are currently on display at the Central Resource Library. Simply go online to view these works and place your bid, or simply enter the “Buy it now” price. A percentage of each sale will benefit the Foundation thanks to our partners with GUILDit.

Also, there’s still time to provide your support and receive a one-of-a-kind opportunity to meet two of Kansas City’s literary treasures — Candice Millard and Steve Kraske — and sit in on their lively conversation covering topics sure to entertain and inform. Purchase your seat(s) for just $100 per person. 

Thank you for your continued support, and be sure to save the date for next year’s event —Saturday, September 28, 2019!

Author Wilma Yeo and her legacy

You may have seen a statue we have at Corinth of a young girl reading to a young boy. The girl in the statue is author Wilma Yeo. Over the past weekend we had a special visit - Wilma's great-granddaughters came for a visit, and we snapped this photo of them by the statue of Wilma!

Now Showing at Shawnee: Glyneisha Johnson

Thursday, September 6 to Friday, December 21, 2018

Glyneisha Johnson is a recent graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute’s Painting department. She is also a recipient of Charlotte Street Foundation’s 2017-2018 studio residency program in Kansas City, Missouri. She has exhibited in various solo and group exhibitions in Kansas City, including Undergrads Underground at Leedy-Voulkos Art Center and The Writer's Place.  Through collage, painting, and drawing, Glyneisha Johnson’s work echoes nodes of black culture and her experience of being raised in the South. The work also acknowledges the importance of Black domestic spaces within a society that often overlooks these spaces and the people who inhabit them. She uses the language of collage as a metaphor to describe the dislocated, collaged nature of black history due to colonialism. 


Talk about the work that will be on view. What would you like people to know about it?

The work on view is a photoshoot of a black couple that follows the chronology of a breakup in relation to a personal breakup of mine. The positions of the figures, the curation of the home and the couple’s expression outline one emotion before, during, or following a separation.


What’s the most challenging thing about your creative process?

The most challenging thing about my creative process is finishing work to meet the demand of exhibiting or selling. My artistic practice has really turned into meticulous mark making. The process for me is very ritualistic and sometimes removing myself from that process can be hard.


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

I have always admired artists Romare Bearden and Kerry James Marshall. In a lot of ways, I actually look toward them as father figures. Bearden’s use of colorful collage that is set during the Harlem Renaissance really speaks to the use of collage as a metaphor to describe black culture. My collages actually started by recreating and looking really closely at Bearden’s work through different materials. Marshalls black and white interiors with figures really helped me think about representation through the abstract in my work.


5-10 books, music and/or movies that have inspired you:

Beloved by Toni Morrison

Their Eyes were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Black Sexual Politics by Patricia Hill Collins

Everything is Love by the Carters

Daughters of the Dust by Julie Dash

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

In observation of National Domestic Awareness Month, the Library is offering two programs presented in partnership with SAFEHOME, the largest domestic violence agency in the state of Kansas and the only domestic violence shelter in Johnson County.

In Their Shoes is an interactive tool that uses real life scenarios to educate everyone about teen dating violence. Through a diverse set of teen stories, participants will make choices for their character as if they were in the unhealthy relationship themselves. Through this choose-your-own adventure activity, participants will learn about different forms of abuse, barriers to receiving help, helpful responses, and warning signs of violence. Guided discussion will follow the activity to process the stories and their impact. 

In Her Shoes is an activity designed for learning about domestic violence. You will move, do, think and experience the lives of people who've been abused. Become one of seven characters based on the experiences of real victims of domestic violence.  You'll make choices about their relationships and move through the scenario by reading about interactions with their partner, friends, police, clergy, and more. The activity helps answers the question, "Why do people stay in abusive relationships?" and "How can I help someone who is being abused?" Discuss with an expert in the field, what we all can do to help victims of domestic violence.

Go here to learn more.


Monticello's Opening Month

Western Shawnee is loving their new library, and here's proof!

Tonight at Corinth Library: An Edible Discussion

Cacao Restaurante recently moved from 95th and Nall to 103rd and State Line, so don't be discouraged if you drive past the old location and see the vacant lot. Cacao is still serving delicious, authentic Mexican food at their new digs and they'll be here to tell us all about how to make genuine, excellente Mexican faire.

Bring your favorites to sample and share at our foodie book club!

To-Read pile getting too-small?

Be sure to check out what your librarians have been reading and doing recently over at our Staff Picks Blog:

Gregg wrote about five new releases this month in fiction that you absolutely need to know about, including a novel about two lost souls on the run from the New Orleans mob post-JFK assassination, a romance about a marriage proposal at a baseball game that goes hysterically, horribly wrong, and a sci-fi action thriller about a woman who can do advanced mathematics in her head - and uses that ability to turn the tables on kidnappers and mercenaries.

Matt wrote about Silent Book Group that he created and currently moderates at the Groundhouse Coffee Shop in Gardner, Kansas. A silent book club is perfect for those among us who like the concept of talking about the books we’re reading, but don’t like the homework assignment feel of the traditional book group. You can read alone, together, even if it’s in a bustling coffee shop.

Josh wrote about what the staff at his library branch are reading, watching, and listening to. His branch, Lackman, has some of the sharpest readers in the library system, and you’ll be sure to come away will a pile of great books that will top your To Be Read stack.

Hebah recently attended Worldcon 76, one of the biggest sci-fi/fantasy conventions on the planet. She attended panels, talked to authors and artists, and met dozens of enthusiastic fans. If you’ve never been to a sci-fi convention, Hebah excellently describes the experience - and provides YouTube clips, too!

We’ve also written reviews of books we’ve liked, too: check out Kari’s review of a great Cold War spy thriller, and Dylan’s review of a novel featuring the Dark Lord of the Sith himself, Darth Vader.

Teen Bullet Journaling Meetup

Does opening a fresh pack of multi-colored sharpies make your heart go aflutter? Do post-it note arrows inside a book put a smile on your face? Do you write tasks that "just come up" on your to-do list just to feel the satisfaction of crossing them off? Do you love to write, take notes, doodle, or schedule your time? If you love all-things organization, join fellow teens at our bullet journaling meetup. We meet today at Lackman, 4 - 5:30 pm, and each month. Check out our schedule » 

Ready for Halloween?

Don't chicken out - build a Halloween costume you'll be proud of (and friends will tell tales of) for years to come. Whether you want to make a mask or a whole costume, we got you »