Johnson County Library’s three courier trucks transport materials between the branches and travel countless miles each year, serving as billboards on wheels, with images promoting Library services.
The current vinyl wraps were installed on the trucks in 2018, so it’s time for a refresh. This year, three local artists are designing the wraps, bringing their uniquely creative visions to the task and giving each truck a bold and brilliant exterior.
“We are asking local artists to interpret what the Library means to them, how the Library impacts the community, and translate that into art,” said marketing specialist Ben Oglesby. “I see it as a moving art installation, where we are showcasing our local Kansas City artists. It’s like a rolling exhibition.”
The Library has connections with many Kansas City area artists. For this project, Local Arts Librarian Bryan Voell made recommendations and three artists were selected: Sol Anzorena, Lauren Seider and JT Daniels.
Each artist has a distinctive, eye-catching style that brings something different to the project. Yet they all share an enthusiasm for the Library’s mission and their artwork conveys that message in captivating ways.
Sol Anzorena was born in Argentina and grew up in Spain. She studied fine arts in Granada, Poland and Brazil. Her visual art and murals are infused with her passion for the environment and the natural world.
Anzorena moved to Roeland Park a few years ago, and Voell became aware of her talents. Her work was exhibited at the Cedar Roe branch and was also featured on the cover of the 2021 Fall Library Guide.
For the truck wrap, she has created exuberant images of a young girl reading a book with her mother and imagining a beautiful world, then writing her own words, then growing into a woman and sharing her book with her mother.
Anzorena embraces the idea that literature inspires the imagination and can save lives. For her truck art, she hopes to emphasize “the beauty of creating new worlds with the words of a story.”
Lauren Seider, a Kansas City Art Institute graduate, is an illustrator and designer whose work has been exhibited at the Corinth and Shawnee branches. She grew up in Centralia, Missouri, where the Library was a favorite place to visit. “I love getting lost in a book,” she said.
Seider’s illustrations for the truck will feature children and some adults exploring a colorful playground of structures built from books, including nooks, tunnels and doorways. “I was really thinking about the importance of literacy, community and the way it opens doors,” she said. “Books being doors and things you can climb.”
JT Daniels is a popular artist and muralist whose work can be seen throughout Kansas City, on exterior walls of downtown businesses, in galleries, and adorning streetcar stops. He has also devoted his time and talents to mentoring local youth, instructing and encouraging them in their own artistic pursuits.
Oglesby said the graphics will be created digitally and can be scaled to fit the truck size. The wraps will be printed and installed sometime this fall by Signs By Tomorrow, of Overland Park.
It’s been a joy working on this project, Oglesby said, because each artist brings a special energy and excitement to it, and the result will be vivid illustrations of the Library’s role in the community.
“I’ve loved the process,” Oglesby said. “I’m not an artist myself, but I’m always amazed at the creativity of all these artists.”