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The Sky at Moriarty Library

A collaborative First Year Experience and Image in Context class project led by visiting artist Aaron Krach.

During the Spring 2016 semester assistant professor Lisa Young presented artist Aaron Krach’s project The Author of this Book Committed Suicide to the Image in Context class, as part of the Foundation curriculum for first-year students. Students were excited and inspired by this artist book. A copy was acquired for the Moriarty Collection.

Krach was asked to create a project for the College of Art and Design's Moriarty Library. He and Young decided to pursue a collaborative work that would embed critical thinking, research, and information literacy skills, while introducing first-year students to Moriarty Library. They decided on a crowd-sourced project that engaged collaboration and community building for first-year students—one that also allowed students to meet an artist whose book they’d viewed as a part of the Library Collection and their class curriculum.

Finding the Sky

Moriarty Library has stained glass windows that filter light from the heavens. We think of the sky as positioned outdoors, but the sky also exists within the space of the library, represented in landscape paintings and drawings, film and video stills, photographs, animation cells, and illustrated books. In October, Aaron led 102 Image in Context students and faculty on a hunt to “find the sky” in books housed in the library collection. Students scanned images and created citations that were uploaded to a shared document.

102 students participated, and this crowd-sourced activity produced:

  • A bound artist book: containing every image sourced, including citation.
  • Sky Fragment bookmarks: A take-away to disperse throughout the Lesley community.
  • Book Flags: marking the books where sky images were found.
  • Installation: Twenty-five color prints on exhibition.

On November 17, Aaron presented an artist talk followed by a reception in Moriarty Library, completing a circle of exchange. The installation is now on view. The book flags map the space, and the bookmarks plus the artist book containing all 102 found skies are on display.

What Students Are Saying About The Sky at Moriarty

"Participating in this project made me ask: 'Who’s this for? What’s being preserved? Are we taking or adding value to the images we scan?' I think of the image I chose as part of a series and no longer a singular image. I'm curious as to why other students chose the images they did. It’s really cool how there is so much potential for individual variation when given an instruction as simple as ‘find a picture of the sky and scan it’." – Coco M. | Illustration

"The book flags allow us to feel the presence of other students from a project in which all of us participated. It feels like this weird, detached collaboration with strangers that is incredibly intriguing. In the talk, Aaron touched on the idea of mystery and allowing the project to reach its arms out and float into different people’s lives, even if we don’t know them. He mentioned that this might actually be the most exciting part." – Morgan C. | Photography