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Science? Yes. Boring white lab coats? Definitely no. Brock Hatton will use science special effects to bring a story to life at ScienceTellers: Aliens: Escape from Earth. Enjoy Brock's amazing technicolor lab coat during this fun story+science event for families.

Catch Aliens: Escape from Earth on July 11 at Blue Valley Library or July 30 at Gardner Library and Central Resource Library. See the schedule »


Friday's Featured Artist

Dylan Findley is a prolific, award-winning composer who describes his music as "kaleidoscopic" and part of an ongoing quest for seeking truth.  His approach to creativity is as much craft-driven as it is philosophical, with extensive essays on the spirituality of music, his creative process and the nature of sound itself appearing on his website and blog. Findley currently attends the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he is finishing his Doctorate of Musical Arts.  Enjoy our interview with this emerging composer.



Throwback Thursday

What kind of photos will you snap this Independence day? Can you beat these kids and their patriotic bikes?! If you can, maybe someday your pics will show up on JoCoHistory!

Photographed are Tracy and Rusty Steitz who decorated their bikes with red, white and blue streamers and American flags for 1982's Independence Day parade in Leawood.

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


New Podcast Episode

Johnson County Movie Theater History, Career and Finance, and Bookstores

In this episode of Did you hear?, host Dave Carson and Librarian Mike Keller give you the inside story on what it was like to visit and work at Johnson County movie theaters back in the day! They also chat about the 4-part jocohistory series about the local chain of Dickinson movie theaters!

Then, our weekly Library Community Calendar highlight: career and finance Librarian Marty Johannes brings Karen Silins of A-Plus Career and Resume by to preview resume and interviewing events!

Plus, Dave tells ya about our bookstores!


Homework Help

Keep your school skills sharp over the Summer with


MakerSpace and Recycling

What happens to your failed 3D prints? Well, here are a few ways we've given that plastic a second life. Enjoy the video of us blending up the scraps and scroll through the slideshow to see how we've made a prototype for swag for your baseball cap and USB tags!



Now at Gardner: Paige Davis

Wednesday, May 1 to Wednesday, August 21, 2019

I think of my drawings as specimens that have not yet been identified, as in they are abstract organic forms based on textures found in nature with an emphasis on mark making and mapping out larger spaces to find potential areas for detail and elaboration.

My paintings, on the other hand, are inspired from still lifes built from fabrics, toilet paper, foliage, dried flowers and other found objects. Using observational skills to capture every tiny shift in color and temperature, I create an “alien” environment. Scale and color transform the small still life reference to something abstract yet believable, with the resulting space suggesting a home for an organism or life force that is imagined or undiscovered.

Paige Davis is a multimedia artist currently living in Lenexa, KS. She earned her BFA in Visual Art from Clemson University, South Carolina. 

Enjoy this exhibition through August 21.


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


Both! I ​tend ​to focus on the medium and, when all goes well, it should enhance the message. I appreciate how oil paints behave and provide so much range in color. For my newer paintings on view, I did a lot of testing with still lifes that involved submerging mundane household objects in milk which added a different layer of depth and created new opportunities with color for me to then play with on canvas to create believable yet abstract environments. 


With my multimedia works, I choose my materials with more intent and consideration. A few of my more graphic pieces on view include fly fishing thread which is a nod to my interest in camping and newer hobbies since moving to Kansas - hunting, fishing, and all the skills that you hone while outdoors. When I use graphite and ink, I’m kind of recalling that idea of field notes and studies. I start with an abstract splash of ink, study it and enhance areas of interest. There’s no particular result in mind when I start these pieces, so it’s a bit freeing compared to my oil painting. 



What do you feel is your role as an artist?


Recently, I try to focus on how making art enhances my life, personal growth, and critical thinking. In the grander scheme, I hope people that do view my art spend a few moments lost in observation and are able to just be present with the work. Furthermore, I hope it encourages people to make that connection beyond the art - to appreciate the beauty and complexity of their own surroundings. 



What influences your practice/works?


I’m inspired by the idea of “place” and observation. Nature continues to be a large influence in my work; moving from SC to TN - and to KS in 2013- has exposed me to a variety of landscapes. In learning about habitats, I was fascinated with the knowledge that there is all this activity at the “edge” of a habitat and its importance. I try to recall that concept when working on a piece.



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


I’m inspired by a lot of portrait painters because I simply love flesh tones and the variety of colors that are actually used to define the figure. From early on, I’ve always enjoyed Jenny Saville’s works and how she places the figure in space and her brush strokes. I’m very much inspired by ceramic artist Sam Davis (he’s also my husband)! He often finds a way to insert humor into his work and is a good reminder not to take myself too seriously or overthink my ideas; he also challenges me to consider context and concept with my work. 



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.


Themes of Contemporary Art: Visual Art after 1980 by Jean Robertson and Craig McDaniel- My painting professor at Clemson introduced us to an excerpt (Chapter 3 in particular regarding “Place”) and it blew my mind. 


I also encourage reading any outdoor books that help you identify nature, plants, tracks etc. native to KS (but then go outside and identify stuff and enjoy the feeling of curiosity and discovery)!


This won’t help you understand my work necessarily, but I read a million romance novels. I also find that oil painting in general can be kind of dramatic and romanticized so getting in the studio after reading some angsty love stories makes for good results (especially when paired with an equally dramatic and angsty playlist). Mariana Zapata has been my go-to romance author :)