Part 3. Emily Dickinson Arts Fest, February 12-14, 2015

Entry begun Wednesday, February 4, 7:25 a.m

Our Emily Dickinson Arts Fest is suddenly only a week away.  One week from tonight Claire Illouz will board a red-eye flight in San Francisco and fly through the night to arrive here in the very early hours of the Thursday on which she will present Summer Boughs, her brand-new artist book, in the evening.  We can only hope the weather is better than on the day in February 2011 on which she flew from San Francisco to encounter an ice storm on the evening she presented her Whiteness book to a highly appreciative audience that braved the treacherous roads.

In my mind, our actual Arts Fest began late last week when Emma Rose and I began installing the art exhibition in the exhibition space.  By Thursday, January 29, nearly all of the artworks were on hand, and the previous exhibition in the Farris Reading Room on the second floor of the library was taken down.   On the third floor of the library, a third horizontal case had been brought for the artist books in our show, and the one vertical case had now been positioned in close relation to them. On that morning, I began bringing in art works from my house, from the Honors House, and from my office as Emma Rose began to think about how best to deploy them in our two exhibition spaces.

The third floor was relatively easy.  We had six artist books that would fit in the three horizontal cases two to a case.   The vertical case was more complicated because we had a variety of 2- and 3-dimensional works that could potentially be positioned inside, on top of, of next to the case.   Within about half an hour, however, we had this one figured out.  All of the pieces we were considering for this case fit comfortably inside it.  So we left this floor for now while we began to address the more complicated challenges of the second floor.

Emma Rose adjusting Julie Viltrakis’ Over the Fence in the third floor display case

Emma Rose adjusting Julie Viltrakis’ Over the Fence in the third floor display case

On the second floor we had a lot more artwork and a lot more wall space on which to hang it.  One area resolved itself quickly.  We saw that the first four works in our Dickinson catalog, the four fabric pieces consisting of three quilts and a dress, would fit perfectly on the section of the north wall nearest the east window.  Once we had them laid out in the sequence we planned to hang them, we could move on to address the rest of the room.

Three quilts and a dress claim their spot on the wall

Three quilts and a dress claim their spot on the wall

Until we came back the next day to address the rest of the room, we stored everything overnight in a conference room, along with some works that had been taken down from the previous show.

Overnight storage in conference room with works from previous show.

Overnight storage in conference room with works from previous show.

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