Artist-library collaboration featured in new book

A collage created by local artist Mel Kolstad is featured in a new book, The Artist’s Library, created by the founders of the Madison-based The Library as Incubator Project.

Kolstad’s work, The Detritus Project: Fond du Lac Public Library, is a collage made from castoff papers found inside returned books – tickets, receipts, bookmarks – framing an original mixed media painting of the library building. It hangs in the lobby of the Main Library.

The book features case studies of the intersection of art and the public library, including crafty projects, such as pop-up books; community-minded, such as library galleries; documentary photo projects; and the technically complex project of “listening” to libraries via Dewey decimal frequencies.

The Library as Incubator Project was created by UW-Madison library and information studies students Erinn Batykefer, Laura Damon-Moore and Christina Endres to promote collaboration between libraries and artists. It highlights the ways that libraries and artists can work together, and works to strengthen these partnerships. The Artist’s Library is published by Coffee House Press and is included in the Fond du Lac Public Library collection; found here.

Kolstad is a self-taught full-time artist who says her career began with a stamp collection at age 7. She is author of the blog “Ephemeraology” at and a frequent instructor of classes at the library, Fond du Lac’s Moondance Studios and venues across Wisconsin. More information about her and her work can be found at

In photo above right: A collaborative piece by local artist Mel Kolstad, pictured center, is featured in The Artist’s Library, written by founders of The Library as Incubator Project, Laura Damon-Moore, left, and Erinn Batykefer, right.

Photo above left: The featured artwork, The Detritus Project: Fond du Lac Public Library, hangs in the lobby of the Main Library downtown.


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