By Linda Onderko
Collage is one of my favorite art mediums so when I saw the plea in the Commerce Township Library newsletter, I responded immediately.
They wanted a collage made from the items taken out of the books donated for the used book sales over the years. I was given a box of stuff – everyday, special, ordinary, touching, worthless, priceless, stuff. The kind of stuff you or I would slip between the pages of a book for a variety of reasons, sometimes just to get rid of it.
Many were actual bookmarks intentionally used, other things serving as such, while other items seemed to be filed away to be protected and saved. It was like an archeological dig. Or opening a time capsule. Some items had dates on them confirming their half-century status.
They came from so many varieties of places but they all ended up there, in that box, ready for their next incarnation. And that common destiny amuses me and invokes questions of randomness and fate in that “who’da thunk?”way….who’da thunk that all these disparate items would end up here in this artistic union?
And maybe it’s not the end, either. Who knows what these will evolve into over time???? I ended up making two 24 x 36 collages and still had stuff left over. The Library has already started a new collection box! I presented the collages at their annual meeting the other evening and read the poem that I was compelled to write after completing this project.
They were all pleased. Yay! I believe strongly in public art and am glad to participate in its presence in the world and encourage you to look for your own opportunity, too. The rewards feed the soul, if not the body. And there’s that fun thing, too. Also good for the soul. And you never know when your volunteer efforts may net you a paying gig!! Another good thing.