Art in the Archives

Columbia Public Library gets
a facelift with art donations
Thursday, April 14, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 10:30 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Flying french fries and a bright yellow abstract sculpture already greet patrons of the Columbia Public Library. Now, three new works will add to the welcome.

The pieces the library has acquired over the past year — a brightly painted hanging screen, an abstract sculpture and a bronze bust — were introduced at a reception Wednesday afternoon.

Robert Bussabarger donated his work “Rocks, Flowers and Insects” to the library. The painting is oil on canvas-covered plywood. The two-sided, six-paneled screen measures 5 feet wide by 71/2 feet long when unfolded. Each panel is brightly colored and depicts flowers of varying sizes.

The screen hangs from the ceiling above the Media Desk and can be seen from all three floors.

“Suspending it adds another dimension to the concept of the piece,” Bussabarger said. “It is similar to if you were out in space. In space you wouldn’t have a clear cut view of where you are, instead it depends on how you imagine yourself juxtaposed there.”

The bronze sculpture titled “Q” was created by the late Don Bartlett in 1984, and his family donated it to the library in 2003.

“Q” shows the interaction between figures standing in a line. Located in the Virginia G. Young Room, it is 28 inches wide and 19 inches tall.

Bartlett’s widow, Bertrice, said the piece reminds her of people waiting in line to check out library books.


Sabra Tull Meyer stands beside her bronze bust of Virginia G. Young on Wednesday at the Columbia Public Library. The work is on display in a second-floor room named after Young, a former library trustee.

The library commissioned Sabra Tull Meyer to create a bronze portrait bust of Virginia G. Young for the room bearing her name. Young was a library trustee and a friend of Meyer.

“Having known her made a huge difference in creating a likeness,” Meyer said. “I didn’t have to rely solely on photos.”

Meyer said it is important to have art in the library and hopes Young’s sculpture will make people curious and want to know more about her.

“This is a place where people come for learning experiences,” Meyer said. “It is important for people to be exposed to other aspects of culture and experience different forms of art.”

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