Art at the Library

Hello again art and library fans (and Happy Ground Hog Day....)

Celebrating February is artist Susan Wiersema who will be exhibiting at the Bainbridge Public Library, hosting an opening reception for First Friday Art Walk, February 1, 5-7PM. Susan's exhibit is titled "My Pet Project: Portraits of Dogs and Cats.

Here is how Susan describes her work:
"I was the kind of kid that brought home every stray kitten I found. I would've brought home dogs too, if we didn't already have some at home and no room in our yard. I have always had a love for cats, dogs, hamsters, and most things with four legs. This love for animals is a big part of my pet portrait work.

My pet portrait work has become a flourishing business because of my passion for pets. Interestingly, I fell into a career in pet portraiture after an invitation to exhibit in the Dog Days of Summer exhibition at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts several summers ago. Focusing on dogs, the work came to life as I concentrated on the eyes, nose, and mouth. It felt like I was revealing the dog's heart and soul with each stroke of color. People responded so positively to the work that I got several commissions from that show. I knew then, that I had found my artist niche.

I work primarily in colored pencil because of the range of colors available and I draw better than I paint. People often ask me how I get such expressive eyes with my pet portraits? I build up rich and varied layers with many pencil strokes and then blend the colors with water, making them unique. This is really what makes the portrait come to life, it's the eyes. I enjoy watching viewers of my artwork move forward and back, looking at how the pinks, purples, blues, and greens work together. This harmony gives the viewer a window into the personality of the animal. For this reason I use bold compositions. I especially love doing close ups of the pet's head. It's as though the face of the animal is saying, 'Hey, look at me!'

I have a B.F.A in photography, and I photograph most my subjects. My photographs have become wonderful reference material and some can stand on their own as a work of art. In addition, my experience working in photo labs, an art history museum, an art gallery and frame shop, and an art supply store have given me a vast amount of experience that contribute greatly to my work. I also teach at the Winslow Art Center and find the company of a variety of amazing artist friends invaluable to my success.

You can view this exhibit all of February as well as on the library website, .

Thank you for supporting your Bainbridge Public Library and local artists.  A portion of sales from this exhibit will be donated to the library and to PAWS of N. Kitsap.

~ Linda Meier, art coordinator

Editor's Note: At the February 1st reception, Ms. Wiersema has invited PAWS of Bainbridge Island and North Kitsap to have an information table. She will also generously donate 10% of the proceeds from any works sold during the exhibition to PAWS!
BPL Board Profile - Bernie Baker

Bernie Baker, an architect, moved to Seattle with his wife in 1980 and extended the "best and greatest adventure of our life" by moving to Bainbridge Island in 1983. In addition to being hard working and overloaded with projects on the BPL Board, Bernie is one of the best and brightest!

His first love, at 14, was the library at the Seminary High School he attended in Western Pennsylvania. It was there, not at home that Bernie Baker became attached to reading. "Wow, look at all this stuff that¹s available to read." His discovery motivated him to volunteer at the seminary library, this young man who memorized the Dewey decimal system with enthusiasm and opened the library door widely to all the joys within.

When he pulls open the Bainbridge Public Library's door, he knows he will come upon a book or two that will be just right for the moment. He likens the excited, eager sense of entering the library to a child's experience of going into a candy store. "What will I find? What will I choose?" Bainbridge Public Library is on Bernie's list of wondrous places. "The atmosphere is peaceful and friendly, such helpful staff, perfect location, lovely light, natural paintings out the windows.  The sound inside is comforting. You know something good is going to happen."

Bernie describes himself as a designer, an artist, and an emotional, touchy-feely guy who gets a sixth sense about a building, a location, a town. Early last year, Bernie definitely experienced a queasy sense and a few unpleasant scents as he was introduced to his assigned and appropriate BPL role - Chair of the Facilities Committee. It includes the entire "Building that Bainbridge Built", the grounds of BPL plus all the Ihland properties owned and cared for by the BPL/KRL partnership and overseen by Elmquist property management.

Yes, the 2017-18 Refresh Project greatly improved many aspects of the 1998 remodel, but many projects had been delayed, overlooked, and fixed temporarily over the years; for example, the heating and cooling unit. You must remember being in the big conference room; sweating in the summer, freezing in the winter! As 2019 arrives, you probably notice that evenly dispersed heat comes to us as we enjoy the large conference room views and comfort.

Bernie and his tough and talented team members Lynn McIntyre, David Jones, Lois Reitz, Bruce White and Denton Kiehle have tirelessly worked to improve the building and grounds: the paths and the cement slabs, the planting, the outside painting, the exciting sump pumps and draining of the storm drains. The ongoing task of coordinating our front and back gardens, plants and ponds, trees, flowers, and outdoor sculptures are also part of the Committee's domain.

As Bernie and the team starts 2019, BPL Facilities Committee member Denton Kiehle will take on the job of coordinator and overseer of the Ihland Way property. Good news!  In addition, Bernie's committees and sub committees now have 3 years of goals, including perhaps hiring skilled personnel to help us become a Community Center.

The Facilities Committee has already identified goals for the next 3 years - and the 5 specific actions needed. Hurrah for Bernie and his hard-working gang. The KRL/BPL partnership appreciates and applauds (but not nearly enough) Bernie's leadership and the accomplishments of the Facilities team! Give a shout out to Bernie and his team when you see him and them improving our building. The Facilities Team keeps our building safe, solid and sound; our grounds changing, fitting and beautiful through the seasons.

~ Judy Tingley

What's New in the Garden

Many library patrons have asked why a garden bed along Madison is full of little flags. Long ago, the soil in that area was contaminated by oil leakage from a collection of old cars. Despite our vigorous renovation of the area when beds were built, residues remained, causing even tough, hardy plants to struggle there. Last year, John Barutt, our Master Composter, asked soil scientists at Fungi Perfecti to help us heal the damaged soil.

If you've tried our hand at growing organic mushrooms from kits, you probably recognize Fungi Perfecti as the first company to develop and sell kits for many kinds of edible mushrooms. However, the company has several other products, including their Host Defense mushroom supplements and soil treatments. Based on soil samples from our worst trouble spots, Fungi Perfecti created a remedial fungi mixture that is breaking down the contamination. The flags mark plants placed last fall so we can track and record their progress for the soil researchers to analyze. So far, results seem promising indeed, a happy result that we hope will continue!

~ Ann Lovejoy

A library is proof that you can never have too much of a good thing
Books Worth Sharing

The Man Who Came Uptown
 by George Pelecanos

Michael Hudson spends his days in prison devouring books recommended by the prison librarian and participating in a cell block book group. Suddenly, he is released after a PI manipulates a witness and Hudson's court case disappears. Once on the outside, Michael gets a job, lives with his mom, rekindles some friendships from before his criminal days and he reads....voraciously.  But one day the PI comes calling and expects Michael to help with a case. Reluctantly, he agrees and his world teeters on the brink of devastation. Will he slip back into a life of crime or can he keep the freedom he has worked so hard to retrieve? Will he go with the guy who got him out of jail or the woman who has shown him an alternate path? Pelecanos has created a stunning cast of characters whose daily choices thrust them into the high-stakes underworld of D.C. crime. If you haven't read any of Pelecanos' novels, this is a great place to start. Wonderful atmosphere, nail-biting suspense and heartwarming redemption!

~ Susan Braun

The Mystery of Bainbridge Public Library's Swamp Bird...Episode 6
Library friends and patrons. Maybe you can solve the "Swamp Bird" mystery.  The sculpture was a gift from (then) Bainbridge Arts and Craft in 1979, in honor of Phil A. Sisk. Anyone who knew Phil? If so, please call the library and tell any of the librarians what you know about Mr. Sisk.

~ Judy Tingley

Friends of the Library Book Sales

The Bainbridge Island Friends of the Library book sales offer gently used books, CDs, DVDs, audiobooks and magazines to support the Friends, who in turn reinvest in the library through endowment gifts, programming and special events, magazine subscriptions, the aquarium in the Children's Library and much more. Daily, scores of donated books, magazines, CDs, DVDs, and other items arrive in our book room.  A crew of volunteers work three days a week to sort, price, organize, and shelve these donations for our sales.  As a result, our stock of books and other items on display for sale is constantly renewed. Over a year's period, we receive several hundred thousand books and we are proud that we have only gently used, often new appearing books on our shelves.

Mark your calendar for book sales at Bainbridge Public Library:

Thursday, February 9th 10:00am - 4:00pm
Saturday, February 14th 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Tuesday, February 26th 10:00am - 4:00pm

Did You Know?

Bainbridge Public Library, a nonprofit organization, owns, operates, and maintains the Library building and grounds through community donations and grants.  Kitsap Regional Library provides the library staff, collection, classes, and a virtual library at with funding from property tax revenues.  Together we provide the quality library our community wants and has come to expect.  Thank you for your support!