Visiting a public library is always a rewarding experience, but the Paul Sawyier
Public Library provides a rich arts experience as well as a literary one, making it
suitable destination for a class field trip, intergenerational activity, or a family
Laura Mentor, who created the stained glass windows for the library, did not know
much about Paul Sawyier, but in researching his life and work, she was struck by
his love of Kentucky’s natural beauty, a love she shares. Mentor describes the
matching stained glass windows in the reading section downstairs as a
“kaleidoscopic image of elements of Kentucky trees,” one focused on blossoms
and spring leaves while the other features fall foliage, seeds, cones, and nuts. For
the semi-circular window in the children’s section, she chose the branches and
leaves of Kentucky’s state tree, the tulip poplar, and animated them with birds,
butterflies and insects. Enhance your enjoyment and learning experience by trying
to identify as many trees and birds as you can. We have included a Scavenger Hunt
for each window to get you started. The library has field guides and books about
Kentucky’s natural riches to continue your quest. Use the power point for insight
into the history of stained glass windows and the creative process of the artist.
Follow up with hands-on activities.
The interior of the children’s section is enlivened by additional art, long narrow
panels of colorful batik cloths created by Frankfort artist, Doris Thurber. Thurber’s
theme is exploring the arts, and the panels represent music, dance, visual art, and
literary arts. The fifth panel depicts the process of creating batik, because it seemed
important to Thurber to include this educational component. Thurber sees this art
as her legacy, her own colorful footprint in the world. Use the Scavenger Hunt to
explore the Literary Arts panel and connect the images to well-known folk and
fairy tales. You might even want to check out a few books to read these tales or to
find images for other well-loved stories. The Batik Video explains Doris Thurber’s
creative batik process. The power point for this section includes a a guide for doing
formal critiques of art for art classes. There are also numerous hands-on activities
to allow you to explore batik art inspired by your visit to the library. The Batik
Activities in the Classroom includes activities that can just as easily be done at
home or by other youth or intergenerational groups.
Both projects were funded in part by the Friends of the Paul Sawyier Public
Library. They also maintain a small used bookstore on site with great bargains.