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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

Homework Hero!

Sophia, that's the look of success! Your face tells the story.

You are a homework hero! Your secret weapon: your Library Card. In a single bound, you leap directly into Biography in Context! Why? Because you know that when you want the stories of famous people, it's the place to go! 

  • Actors
  • Famous African Americans
  • Athletes and coaches
  • Notable women
  • Politicians and dignitaries
  • Scientists
  • Social reformers
  • Young adult writers 

For a recent homework assignment, you chose to report on Thurgood Marshall. You found videos, radio stories, audio clips, 133 newspaper articles, 160

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

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

A Conversation with Friends Member Vicki Denk

How long have you been a Friends member?

I’m a new Friends member this year, but prior to that, I was a volunteer for two years.

What do you want to learn by serving on the Board?

I’m learning how valuable and fulfilling an experience it is to volunteer with the other talented and committed members of the Friends Board and the dedicated library staff.

Your Elevator Speech: Why You should join the Friends of Johnson County Library

Part of Friends mission is to help make books available to everyone in our community.  It’s so important that we have access to multiple sources of