In 2016, Bob Dylan was ranked the best songwriter ever by Rolling Stone magazine. That same year, Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, making him the first songwriter ever to receive that award. Dylan’s song lyrics have literary merit and provide inspiration for visual interpretations. The pieces featured in this exhibit are just a portion of a large body of Dylan-themed artwork created by East Peoria artist Daniel Botkin. Botkin exhibited the entire collection at the Duluth Dylan Fest for Dylan’s 75th birthday in May 2016.
Botkin started listening to Dylan’s music as a teenager in the mid-1960s and almost immediately realized that there were only two categories of musicians: Bob Dylan and everyone else. It was therefore natural that Dylan and some of his song lyrics would find their way into Botkin’s artwork.
Botkin’s art portrays bold and vibrant interpretations of Bob Dylan’s songs, and features thoughtfully executed elements of surrealism. Botkin studied art at Illinois Central College and Illinois State University and graduated with a B.S. in Art. He has exhibited his work in galleries and juried competitions across the nation and has been the recipient of several awards and grants. He also has published three comic books, which are in the archives of the Graphic Novels Collection at Columbia University, and he has recorded three CDs of his music. See more of his art at danielbotkin.com.
Fine Arts at FDL expands the library’s mission by stimulating imagination and fostering lifelong learning. Curated by the library’s Art Advisory Committee, the program strives to give local artists the opportunity to present new work in a public setting and encourages all artists in East Peoria and surrounding communities to submit an application for consideration.
The installation of art at Fondulac District Library’s facility at 400 Richland Street began with a generous donation from the Ray and Peg Bahnfleth estate. Several pieces were commissioned or purchased for the library’s collection, and funds were used for the installation on a Walker display system for exhibiting engaging works by local artists. Exhibitions of local art are expected to begin in the second half of 2016.
Fine Arts at FDL is curated by the Art Advisory Committee: Adult Services Manager Laura Warren, Communications Assistant Elizabeth Anderson, and Library Director Genna Buhr. The program is guided by the policy adopted and approved by the library’s Board of Directors.
The library currently has two areas for temporary exhibitions of art. Two 12-foot perpendicular wall sections with Walker display system railing are located adjacent to a second floor seating area and are available for displaying mounted, framed, and/or sturdy hanging art. Near its entrance, the library also has a tall glass-front display case with adjustable glass shelving for small or medium-sized three-dimensional art pieces. The case consists of four sections, each with adjustable shelves. The top two sections are each 48 inches tall and have lighting. The bottom two sections are 27 inches tall. All sections are 20 inches wide and 16 inches deep.
All exhibit areas are within the library and are publicly viewable during regular library hours.