Tacos and beer for your favorite floating book raft: fundraiser on Saturday, March 5!

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I recently got back from Los Angeles with my suitcase of books and a plastic duck after a weekend of reading artist books with hundreds of new friends in the SoCal sun and yes, I want to tell you all about it but first I have to raise some money!

You may recall the news from the fall that the Floating Library is the recipient of a Knight Arts Challenge grant. Well, if we’re going to get this thing on the waters of Lake Phalen this summer, it’s time to raise the matching cash.

I’m making this easy and fun for you thanks to a lot of help and energy from my dear friends at The Drawing Project (also Knight winners). We’re joining forces to throw an afternoon into evening fundraising party next Saturday, March 5 at the Schmidt Artist Lofts in St. Paul.

This is what’s in store for you:

-Floating bookmaking workshop with artist Aki Shibata
-Freely improvised instrumental/ambient music curated by Andrew Thoreen of Har-di-Har featuring Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, Andres Crovetti, Andrew Thoreen, Pat Keen
-Individualized poems written by artist Molly Van Avery
-Live drawing projections with Aaron Marx
-Informal and interactive drawing opportunities
-A live improvisational music and drawing performance with poet Steve Healey and wickedly talented artists creating books to be auctioned off at 7:30pm
-Mexican food from Tavial Grill
-A tour of Schmidt’s Historic Well House
-beer!

All proceeds get us closer to raising our match funds ($10K each) to keep these participatory arts programs alive.

Get your tickets!

Learn to make these boats to float your books at Aki Shibata's workshop.

Learn to make these boats to float your books at Aki Shibata’s workshop.

Pedal out to the Floating Library on Echo Park Lake

Postcard image circa 1900s. From GlamAmor.com

Postcard image circa 1900s. From GlamAmor.com

Don’t get us wrong, we like art on ice, but when the opportunity arose to launch the Floating Library in the warm waters of Echo Park Lake this February, we set straight away to get our ducks in a row for a Los Angeles presentation.

Besides palm trees and sunshine the context for this is Printed Matter’s LA Art Book Fair, the massive, sprawly, inspiring, overwhelming, wonderful display of art books and bookish art that takes over MOCA Geffen for a long weekend.

Rather than sit inside at a table, we’re taking to the water, naturally. Luckily there is a lake nearby; a lake that’s been featured in Charlie Chaplin films and Chinatown, and one that has hosted a lotus garden since the 1920’s, among other fascinating bits of history. Further reason to be excited is that the watercraft available on this lake is the pedal boat — a form of water transportation the Library has not yet served though it is perhaps the most relaxed mode of water travel.

The materials on view will be drawn from the existing Library collection as well as newly contributed and loaned works by LA-based book makers and designers.
(Stay tuned here for a list.)

This is all made possible by our friends at Machine Project, the storefront for shenanigans down the street from Echo Park.

Additional kudos are due to Bob Dornberger for building a raft based on Molly Reichert’s original design and to Becca Lofchie who’s been a champion of curatorial assistance, rallying LA book artists to loan materials to the Library.

The Floating Library is a project by Sarah Peters, read more here.

Should you be southwest bound for a mid-winter escape pedal on by:

The Floating Library on Echo Park Lake
February 11 – 14, 2016, daily 11 am – 4 pm (or so)
Pedal boat rental available from a historic boat house for $10 / person / hour

Pedal boats at Echo Park Lake dock. Photo by Darrell Kunitomi from theeastsiderla.com

Pedal boats at Echo Park Lake dock. Photo by Darrell Kunitomi from theeastsiderla.com