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Continued: Love and libraries are conjoined in a new public painting by Duluth artist Jerry Ott

  • Article by: MARY ABBE , Star Tribune
  • Last update: September 5, 2013 - 3:17 PM

The boy at upper left clutching “The Last Monarch Butterfly” book is Ann Pellant’s nephew. The handprint at bottom is that of Dana, a beloved Fermstad brother, but also alludes to the smoky cave-handprints that are the first human signatures in art. Next to it Ott, who collects prehistoric tools, has drawn his own hand holding an ancient stone ax head.

Graffiti-ed maxims, and pillars of books on art, language, history, science and the environment represent the civilization that libraries hold. In little vignettes around them are animals threatened by human exploitation, and at the bottom lick the flames of ignorance, bigotry and violence that endanger the whole edifice. Still, the ship sails onward, lightly overlaid with the words “There is no ship like a book to take us lands away.”

Mary Abbe • 612-673-4431

  • related content

  • Duluth-based artist Jerry Ott worked for more than nine months on the book-themed painting commissioned by Friends of the Hennepin County Library. The 11-foot-wide painting is being installed in the atrium of the Minneapolis Central Library.

  • A detail at the top of the painting depicts the late Eric Fermstad, who donated money for the work, in a pixilated image that represents his death as well as technologies affecting libraries.

  • Pillars/The Last Monarch Butterfly

    What: Newly commissioned photorealist painting by Duluth-based artist Jerry Ott.

    When: Permanent installation opening Sept. 12.

    Where: Atrium of the Minneapolis Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall, Mpls.

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