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Cold Spring Library Branch Adds Color with New Mural

The Campbell County Library Cold Spring Branch building needed a splash of color, according to Library Director J.C. Morgan.

So, Morgan turned to Northern Kentucky artist Tammy Batson Stephens for help. He tasked her with the job to create a mural that would be “first and foremost about reading.”

The scene depicts is a giant open book with two young readers about to enter a new world on the book’s page. The open book is sitting atop other giant books with children sitting on as they are reading.

“The books and the children reading and enjoying their own books give the message that reading is and always should be fun,” Morgan said. “On another level, it’s about learning and expanding your mind.”

The mural, according to Morgan, brings to life the imagined worlds and places that reading books take you. The mural also shows that reading and libraries are for everyone: “boys, girls, people of all colors and types.”

“Libraries are the people’s universities, as Andrew Carnegie once said,” Morgan said. “This mural emphasizes that.”

Stephens said she enjoyed designing and working on the mural. 

“I really enjoyed meeting the patrons of the library,” she said. “People would stop and ask about the sketch and the process, and everyone was so encouraging.”

She said the meaning behind the mural is to show the imagination of children who love books and to show that all children are welcome to a “whole world of learning inside the pages.”

Stephens has been a collaborative artist with Art Works since 2011. She was the designer and project manager for murals in Helen town (Covington), KY and Oakley, OH and was part of the restoration team on the Cincinnatus mural. In 2017 she transformed a water pump house located on River Center Blvd. in Covington, KY into a castle with a mural depicting the 1937 flood.

Stephens has painted murals for two other Campbell branches and has been painting murals since the ‘70s. Her work incorporates perspective and color theory to create the illusion of deep space on a flat surface. 

According to Morgan, the mural along with the tables, planters, and bright table umbrellas has been a “dramatic way to give the space personality.”

“Libraries all over the world are beautiful places,” he said. “You should feel like you’re in a special place when you’re at the library… because you are. I like to compare them to candy stores. There’s a kind of candy for everyone! I think the mural stresses the point that libraries and the enjoyment of reading are for you…whoever you are and whoever you want to be.”

Written by Melissa Reinert, RCN contributor

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