What do books, gloves, Boulevard beer, art and bad jokes have in common? They were all a part of the 46th Annual Friends of the Library Celebration.
UMKC Friends of the Library is a membership organization who helps support UMKC libraries through funding for collections. By providing an annual gift, Friends of the Library have provided for UMKC’s Dental, Health Sciences, Miller Nichols and the Music/Media libraries.
Before I attended the event, I was unaware of not only how expensive certain library resources cost and how much Friends of the Library helps. This year, there were twenty-seven gifts provided, totaling $35,000! A few of the gifts were the digital edition of the Illustrated London News (ILN) which cost $9300 and Asian and Islamic art books which cost $996.60.
The cumulative amount given by UMKC Friends of the Library has exceeded $1.3 million.
The night included much conversation between Friends of the Library members, UMKC staff and faculty and students. Laid on the table were white archival gloves, a beautiful lily centerpiece and a paper Barbie stood upright, surrounded by paper doll clothes and accessories.
After an hour of mingling and munching on delicious hors d’œuvres, the program began. The annual gift was presented to the Dean of Libraries, Sharon L. Bostick and the Annual Scholarship was awarded. The moderator, President of UMKC Friends of the Library, Oliver Burnette, asked those who came up to the podium various bad library jokes that made the crowd giggle.
Finally the featured speaker, Peregrine Honig, presented a discussion entitled “Bound: A conversation about Art in Multiples.”
Honig is an artist most notably featured as a finalist on Bravo’s 2010 show “Work of Art.”
Although born in San Francisco, Cal., Peregrine attended the Kansas City Art Institute and still resides here. She is the owner of Fahrenheit, an alternative exhibition space which received its name, because it has no air conditioning and is “very hot.” She also owns the very popular and highly regarded independent lingerie boutique Birdies.
For this event, she focused on her latest work called “Widow,” a limited-edition magazine valued at $700. The work was created as a reflection of a magazine—focused on art and fashion.
I was entranced and appreciated her work on the “grey” area of fashion. Peregrine examined what fashion does not show and explicitly said she was disinterested in the black and white portrayal. For instance, models are notoriously very thin, and she did not want to comment on the subject by portraying the opposite—obesity. Instead, she chose to depict diseases and lifestyle choices instead. For instance, one art piece shows a woman with the words “Herpes for Armani” written underneath.
Following Peregrine’s enlightening talk, questions were asked. Advancement Officer for the UMKC Libraries, Mark Mattison, asked Peregrine to explain how Bravo has affected her success. In the most perfect answer, she matter-of-factly stated, “More doors open to you, but I would say in general there’s the same amount of BS. I’m just lucky I can smell it.”
If you would like to get a glimpse into the artistic world of Peregrine Honig’s work, visit her website www.peregrinehonig.com. For more information on the devoted generosity of UMKC Friends of the Library, visit www.friends.library.umkc.edu.