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Rediscover the Brooklyn Library with this New Public Art Exhibit in 2019

Artist Kameelah Janan Rasheed invites Brooklynites to explore the library through a series of language-based artworks, workshops and tours
Renderings courtesy Brooklyn Public Library

Brooklyn Public Library has announced Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary artist Kameelah Janan Rasheed as the library's Katowitz Radin Artist in Residence for 2019. 

Rasheed will kick off the library's 2019 exhibition season with "Scoring the Stacks," an expansive, library-wide participatory public art event on January 11. During her four-month residency, Rasheed will encourage Brooklynites to rediscover the library on guided tours while interpreting a set of instructions created by her.

"We are thrilled to recognize Kameelah Janan Rasheed as BPL's 2019 Katowitz Radin Artist-in-Residence," said László Jakab Orsós, BPL's vice president of Arts and Culture. "'Scoring the Stacks' is an ambitious and innovative work that will allow countless visitors the opportunity to engage in new ways with our collections, the art it inspires and with one another, creating a truly unique experience for the people of Brooklyn."

Kameelah Janan Rasheed
Kameelah Janan Rasheed. Photo credit: Arcade Project

Known for her book arts, immersive text-based installations, large-scale public text pieces, collage and audio projects, Rasheed engages in her work with both figurative and literal language to explore how we narrate the connections between the past, present and future.

At the heart of the exhibit at BPL is a series of language-based artworks, or scores, drawing on the traditions of musical notation, conceptual art and writing techniques. Located in the middle of the Grand Lobby, the scores, crafted for each of the library's separate collections, appear on brightly-colored cards with simple instructions for participants to explore and interpret the library's stacks, collections and books.

Participants can bind their cards in a folio to take away and keep, and leave behind carbon copies of their notations to contribute to the exhibit. The exhibition will also be accompanied by a newly commissioned 120-foot, site-specific photomural at the central library. 

A series of public programs hosted by Rasheed and guest artists will welcome public participants to further develop language from completed scores into a pop song, a dance or a piece of hybrid text. Each of these happenings draws and expands upon the various interpretive possibilities of a score in music and art, in an atmosphere of collaborative authorship. Guest artists include Morgan Bassichis, brASS Burlesque, and Anaïs Duplan. 

For a complete calendar of programs go here.