Nancy & Steve Hauk Gallery butterfly

Christine Crozier, Library Curator

The Sea Scribes Monterey Bay Calligraphy Guild presents Musings on Pages July 3 - September 30, 2023. Experience the artistry of calligraphy and immerse yourself in a collection of traditional and contemporary styles that highlight the beauty of handwritten words and deepen your appreciation for this remarkable art form that brings written words to life.

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This year's show is titled OURSELVES WE SING: A call and response with Walt Whitman and our understanding of our American Democracy. Ourselves We Sing is a fine art exhibition with special events celebrating the voices of our national song, from the poet of democracy to the present. It will run October 6, 2023 - January 5, 2024 with Opening Reception Friday, October 6th 5:30pm-7:00pm.

From the Call to Artists:

In Leaves of Grass the “Poet of Democracy” sang of American Democracy as a project of radical inclusion. He idealizes his country’s democratic vision while many of his writings were pointedly exclusionary. Amanda Gorman broadens our idea of democracy by acknowledging “…our country is more than a pride we inherit–it’s the past we step into and how we repair it”.

Art can illuminate challenging and entrenched policies, foster discourse, and social change. It can encourage dialogue around social and political issues. What have we got right and where can we improve as a country? How do we sing our country–with all its varied voices–into harmony? - submission deadline was September 1st

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Admission is free. Refreshment will be provided. Library services are not available during events. S
ponsored by The Pacific Grove Public Library Friends and Foundation with poetry supported by the Whitney Latham-Lechich Trust.

Renaissance: Remember, Rise, Revitalize 
a fine art exhibition with 2 lecture and 3 musical events celebrating the Harlem Renaissance and rising above restrictions. This was the second juried art show to be held in the gallery following the library's renewal. The first, titled Renewal celebrated the restoration & reopening of our beautiful Carnegie library. Artists were invited to consider how the previous 18 months had led to new and exciting ways of seeing the world.

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Pacific Grove is unique in many ways, not the least in having a small Victorian home used to house a Poet-In-Residence. In 2000, The Poet’s Perch was bequeathed to the city by writer Whitney Latham Lechich. According to the terms of the bequest, the house and funds derived from its lease are to be used for “poetic purposes”.

“Poetic purposes” was certainly realized when Dr. Barbara Mossberg moved into the cottage from 2010 to 2014. Our Poet in Residence took the position and the town by storm. While in residence, the distinguished Emily Dickinson scholar, award winning educator, author, radio host and of course poet, hosted many poetry events and writing workshops. She celebrated Emily Dickinson’s birthday at the library each December with a one woman show.

In 2014, Cathleen Gable and Mossberg founded a local chapter of the Emily Dickinson International Society with the library as sponsor. Christine Crozier raised the idea of having a juried art exhibit to pair with Dr. Mossberg’s annual Dickinson presentation.

Library Director, Steven Silveria, offered the use of the entire library for the show. He then remembered a wall was being reopened to create a community meeting room which could be used as a gallery for the month-long exhibition if done in time.

While waiting for submissions to “The Language of Flowers”, Gable and Mossberg planned weekly events to coordinate with the art exhibition. The almost finished room was painted the day before the artwork was hung. The exhibit and speakers’ series were an unqualified success. As part of the presentations, Dr. Mossberg performed a “world-premiere” reading from her yet to be published new book Here for the Present. The artwork was exquisite, and the poetry events and presentations were well-attended and enthusiastically received.

 The Sea Scribes calligraphers, photographer Shelley Nemeth, and writer Steve Hauk, also co-owner of a fine arts gallery with wife Nancy, quickly proposed subsequent shows to be held in the newly opened “gallery” space. Following the showing of Nancy Hauk’s watercolors in 2015, friends of the couple offered to help fund the completion of the room as an actual gallery, along with the Friends of the Pacific Grove Library. They requested the library name the room after the Hauks.

With the success of “The Language of Flowers” and the subsequent interest in a library gallery, Silveria suggested an annual three month juried art show and speakers’ series. The next exhibition was titled “The Edge of the Sea, a Celebration of Rachel Carson” featuring Carson’s writings. Gable designed the series which showcased the Pacific Grove coastline in collaboration with the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Hopkins Marine Station, Asilomar, and the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History.

“The Edge of the Sea” was followed by “This Land is Our Land, Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the National Parks” with John Muir as the featured author, again collaborating with the Natural History Museum, Asilomar and local State and National Park agencies. This collaboration served to revive Pacific Grove’s Chautauqua history of open learning about natural history, art, and culture.

As the exhibits and speakers’ series became increasingly popular, it quickly became a priority to retain someone to plan new exhibits, manage the gallery, as well as curate and showcase the library’s neglected permanent collection of art (much of it by well-known local early California painters). Fine artist, Christine Crozier, who had curated the first gallery show, became the new Library Curator. She has curated several shows in the gallery spotlighting selected works from the permanent collection.

In 2019, before closing for a yearlong remodel, the library hosted the juried show “Built for Books” to celebrate and raise funds for the project. The library remodel/renewal was conceived and spearheaded by Steven Silveria. When the library finally reopened in 2021, the Fall/Winter juried show, aptly titled “Renewal”, featured the work of 23 artists within the backdrop of the beautifully renovated building.

Coming full circle last year, Dr. Mossberg published Here for the Present: A Grammar of Happiness in the Present Imperfect, Live from the Poet’s Perch. Honoring the Whitney Latham Lechich bequest and its “poetic purposes”. The book is based on her experience as a California Laureate, Poet in Residence of Pacific Grove.

The library with its one-of-a-kind art gallery continues to be an exciting cultural center for Pacific Grove, promoting and showcasing visual arts, literature, and poetry thanks to Whitney Latham Lechich’s unique gift and vision.

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