Color of Covid Library Art Exhibit


Stop by the St. Paul Library’s exhibit space to see the new show, Color of Covid, by Collection Development Librarian Trisha Burr. Trisha's collages examine ideas of health, wellness, and nature through haunting combinations of weeded books she's collected from the various libraries where she's worked, hand-constructed frames, and papier-mâché figures encased in resin.

  • All are welcome to the Artist's Reception on Thursday, September 29th from 4:00-6:00 PM. Join us for light refreshments and live music by St. Kate's Archivist, Amy Shaw.
  • The exhibit will be on display through October 12, 2022.


Artist Statement:

I started finishing and framing these works in the summer of 2020. It was the first summer of the pandemic and soon after the murder of George Floyd, with parts of St. Paul burnt and shuttered. I had started my new job at the St. Kate’s library but I was working from home, not seeing much of family or friends. It was a summer of eerie silence in my neighborhood, which is usually full of people celebrating. I began many of these pieces before this time but they all took on the tone of the season; the intense yellow that runs through many of them became the “Color of Covid”.

I chose this color for some house projects and it found its way into my artwork. This is an essential part of how I work - whatever is at hand becomes something I use to create.  These collages start from the weeded books that I’ve collected from the libraries I’ve worked in over the years. They’re usually from the late 1800’s; sometimes it’s the antiquated language or ideas in them, more often it’s the physicality of them, the sturdy bookboards, the words pressed into the paper with exotic fonts and floral endpapers. 

While I spend my days as a librarian buying new books and finding the most current content for users, what I really love as an artist are the discarded books. The books I dig out of the dumpsters (yes, I’m often digging in dumpsters) sit on my shelves until one day I open them and discover they want to be seen again and turned into something new.

To see more of Trisha's work, check out her instagram