The Richland County Public Library commemorated the re-opening of its second floor with Overdue: An Evening of Music & Art on Friday evening.
The updated second floor of the Richland County Public Library is a space specifically designed for artists and creators. The floor now features open studios, meeting spaces, an open media lab and a post-production lab. The goal is to provide a creative outlet for experienced artists, but it also targets individuals hoping to learn new skills.
Cecil Decker is the media arts coordinator at the library and is a part of the studio services department.
“What we really are hoping happens is that working artists in Columbia come and use these spaces to do their projects,” Decker said, “and we definitely want to share the creative spaces with people learning new technologies. The library is all about coming in and trying to learn something new.”
The library now offers guided classes and hands-on learning in subjects such as fiber arts, media arts, traditional studio arts and woodworking. A comic book artistry class is also offered.
Local bands Beach Tiger, Alarm Drum and Grace Joyner performed at the event. Several art installations could be found throughout the second level.
Individuals at the event were encouraged to participate in the different interactive art exhibits. Scenario Collective hosted a collage space, where magazine clips were glued to mannequins and other surfaces. Another studio space featured individual stations where sand was shaped and configured to create art. One station provided piles of newspapers and permanent markers. The objective was to redact the articles to tell a new story or to create a poem using the same words printed on the page.
Guests at the event could also observe artist-in-residence Marius Valdes create art pieces that will be displayed in the future teen center in the library. Valdes is a professor of graphic design at the University of South Carolina. He will have office hours and will also host public programs at the library.
Chandni Amin, a first-year journalism student, stated that what she enjoyed most about the event was the atmosphere. “I’ve been coming here since I was a kid,” Amin said. “It’s such an old soul, and now it has a new skin.”
All students enrolled at the University of South Carolina are eligible to receive a free library card, which provides access to all of the free services offered on the second floor.