Thursday, April 18, 2013

Community Art + Food @ the St. Croix Falls Public Library

Many thanks to Cole Zrostlik, Youth Services Librarian, St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin for this guest blog post!

Somebody at the St. Croix Falls Public Library was hungry when we decided to apply for an Ezra Jack Keats minigrant! Inspired by the interests of our Friends of the Library group, some comic-making courses for middle-schoolers that we had been hosting at the library, and a recipe for pancakes that I had created for my college-aged brother, the idea was conceived and the project began to flourish from an idea into a great community arts project!
An entry in the show

In November 2012, we put a call out for recipes and art (any 2D media accepted) from any and all members of the community no matter their age or artistic ability.  Collaborative, class, and family entries were encouraged and the art was not required to be visually related to the recipe. Between December 2012 and March 2013 we held a series of art clubs and classes for kids (including comic-making, collage, and miniature food sculpture) and a collage course for adults/families to encourage submissions to the project and to promote the telling of recipes (just like stories) through visual media and text.

Ham Sauce Recipe!
With 43 total entries, we had a terrific level of participation and enthusiasm for the project. Many of the submissions are steeped in tradition and history, some are quite funny, and all are colorful, interesting to look at up close, and perfectly accent the library space. We had senior citizen to senior-in-high-school to tween to early elementary-aged participation and, being the first art display of its kind at this library, there is an overwhelming sense of pride and curiosity among the kids, adult patrons, and staff at the library.

Headstart created this one!
Our Comic and Graphic Cookbook Art Show officially opened at the end of March and will be on display throughout the library until the end of the summer. Participants will all receive a compilation of the project (a zine!), and the Friends of the Library plan to use the artworks and recipes in a fundraising cookbook to be released at a later date.

All the art from the project can be seen on the SCF Public Library’s Facebook page at

A sincere thank you to the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation for their generous support of ours and other great community arts programs.  Entries for minigrants for libraries and educators of up to $500 must be submitted by March 15 each year, but check out for more information!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow! Great idea!

Jill from Eau Claire