Mexican History Through Art & Dance: A Workshop Series

Post date: Tuesday, August 11, 2015 - 3:01pm

Beginning on Tuesday, August 11, 2015, the Waukegan Public Library will host two artists-in-residence from Mexico, Luis Alberto Sotelo Morales and Diego Ruiz. Morales and Ruiz will each present a series of three workshops focusing on the ancient art and culture and the traditional dances of Mexico.

The Waukegan Public Library is excited to present this series of workshops designed to introduce patrons to the ancestral Aztec culture of Mexico, tracing the course of the Aztec empire through its culture, political organization, military structure, and religious practices. Over the course of the series, participants will take part in lectures and create their own artworks which build on traditional Aztec motifs.

Practicing artist and academic, Morales also has archaeological experience and served as professor in UNAM’s archaeological drawing workshop courses and contributed illustrations to numerous journals. He designed this workshop series to introduce Waukegan residents to Mexican history with an interactive learning experience.

Dancing is also a key component of the workshop, with professional dancer Diego Ruiz presenting complementary workshops on traditional (and modern) Mexican dance. His workshops will focus on dance history and costuming - and even teach participants a few steps.

New Art Exhibit Explores Imagination, Curiosity

Post date: Monday, August 3, 2015 - 12:51pm

“Standing On Color,” an exhibit of abstract canvases by Evanston-based artist Marie-Simone Pavlovich, will open at the Waukegan Public Library on Wednesday, August 5, 2015. Pavlovich will show five canvases in the recently renovated library’s new exhibition space. She works primarily in acrylic on canvas, with two canvases featuring paper collage.

The colorful canvases explore the imagination without boundaries and reflect on the very adult tendency to lose one’s childhood sense of curiosity and experimentation. Quoting Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Pavlovich explains, “[Saint-Exupéry wrote that] ‘all grown-ups were once children, but only few of them remember it.’ We have to remember to go back to our childhood and see things afresh.” It’s in playing with the juxtaposition of colors, textures, and the representation of real and imaginary objects that Pavlovich hopes to engender this childlike wonder among viewers.

And it’s when the canvases spark a feeling of surprise or amusement among those viewers that Pavlovich feels that she’s been most successful. “I always try to keep in mind that I am telling a story that will amuse people who see the work,” she says.

That’s precisely the impression the Library hopes to elicit among its patrons. “I was especially drawn to the exuberance of her work. My goal is to show work that will make our patrons stop and look, taking time to think about what they’re seeing,” says Amanda Civitello, Marketing and Communications Manager at Waukegan Public Library, who planned the exhibition. “Standing On Color” is intended to prompt questions and, the library hopes, discussion. To that end, Pavlovich will give a gallery talk at the library in late August. The free event will discuss her artistic interests and process, and give patrons an opportunity to ask questions and share their thoughts.

Professor emerita of Northwestern University, Pavlovich taught her native French language for many years. She studied various studio methods at the Evanston Art Center, including abstract painting, gouache, collage, and others. She continues to be active with the Swiss Benevolent Society and the Alliance française.

Adult Literacy Volunteers Needed!

Post date: Thursday, July 9, 2015 - 2:15pm

Did you know that the Library offers fun and practical literacy programs for adults? We provide free courses to everyone in our community, helping Waukeganites reach their goals through computer and internet classes, adult education in reading, math, and job skills, as well as English language learning. It’s all made possible by our incredible volunteers!

We’re especially in need of volunteer Adult Literacy Tutors. Our tutors work with adult students on a variety of subjects, from reading to math to English as a second language (ESL). Many of the Library’s adult learners come to our program because they want to improve their employment opportunities or play an active role in their children’s education, but we also serve learners who want to improve their skills purely for fulfillment and the satisfying achievement of continuing education. We also provide hands-on, practical ESL tutoring; our tutors don’t just help their students become more conversational in English, they help them to navigate daily life in a new language by providing opportunities to practice skills in real-life settings. In so doing, our tutors form deeply meaningful relationships with their students. They often say they gain just as much as their students, if not more, from tutoring!

Training, materials, and support are provided by the Tutoring Program staff, so novice tutors looking for a new volunteering experience are especially welcome! Our Adult Literacy Tutors training program occurs over two consecutive Saturdays. The next training is scheduled for August 8 and August 15, 2015. You can learn more about the program here.

We’re also in search of volunteers to assist in our Digital Literacy classroom courses, helping students as they learn about computers and the Internet, hone essential job skills and develop financial literacy. Volunteers for these courses will have their own orientation, with timing to be determined.

We’re looking for adults who are passionate about putting their expertise and talents to work making a difference in our city. Ready to get involved? Click here to visit our Volunteer Match page, or call Rachel Cope at (847) 775-2547.