The Lewes Loves Books initiative has taken on a new dimension as two artists collaborated to create paintings inspired by the program’s featured book, Jennifer Ackerman’s “Birds by the Shore.”
Paintings by artists Ruth Lozner and Kenzie Raulin are on display through the end of March at the Lewes Public Library and Biblion bookstore, which spearheaded Lewes’ participation in the American Library Association’s One Book One Community program. Since October, a variety of local organizations have joined to present lectures, discussions, walks and other activities tied to “Birds by the Shore.”
Both artists have a deep attachment to the Delaware coastline, having come to the beaches most of their lives. They wanted to combine their love of books with their appreciation and concern for the environment.
Lozner, who has a home in Lewes, said she and Raulin were motivated by the Lewes Loves Books movement and insights from “Birds by the Shore,” a revised and reissued edition of Ackerman’s first book, “Notes from the Shore,” written when the author lived in Lewes in the early 1990s.
Working simultaneously on the same canvases, Lozner and Raulin exemplify the concept of collaboration. “We found that working collaboratively is both synergistic and great fun,” said Lozner. “Kenzie and I feel so fortunate to have found such an ideal partnership where we can create art about issues we both feel strongly about.”
Several of these collaborative paintings were exhibited earlier this year in galleries in New York and Maryland.
Works displayed in Lewes include “More to the Story,” a 4.5-by-6.5-foot three-dimensional creation with actual books worked into it, and “Flight on the Coastline,” a 3-by-4-foot collage representing the Cape Region’s connection with books. Works in the Lewes exhibit will alternate between the library and Biblion, and are available for viewing during normal business hours.
All of the works will be available for purchase, with a percentage of the purchase price donated to organizations in the Lewes Loves Books partnership.
Ackerman will discuss “Birds by the Shore,” take audience questions and sign copies of her book at 2 p.m., Saturday, March 21, at Cape Henlopen High School. Admission is free, but preregistration is encouraged. To register, go to www.lewes.lib.de.us or call 302-645-2733.
Five individuals who preregister by 5 p.m., Monday, March 16, will be selected in a random drawing to attend a reception with Ackerman Friday, March 20, at Lewes Public Library. Each winner can bring one guest, and will receive a signed copy of either “Birds by the Shore” or Ackerman’s 2016 New York Times bestseller, “The Genius of Birds.”
Joining the Lewes Public Library and Biblion as partners in the Lewes Loves Books program are Browseabout Books, Cape Henlopen State Park, the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Friends of Prime Hook, the Lewes Chamber of Commerce, the Marine Education, Research & Rehabilitation Institute, Sea Grant Delaware, the Sussex Bird Club, the Sussex County Department of Libraries, the University of Delaware College of Earth, Ocean and Environment, and the university’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.
For more information, go to www.LewesLovesBooks.com.