Be at 'home' at the library—May 14, 2010
What do you see or hear or smell when the word “home” is mentioned? Each of us carries different images and sensations evoked by the word “home” and that is why the Teen Advisory Board of the Hastings Public Library has chosen “Visions of Home” as the theme for their first community wide art show to be held June 17-28, 2010.
The theme sprang from examining the state’s choice for a One Book One Nebraska title, Wright Morris’ “The Home Place.” A revolutionary work of prose and photographs, “The Home Place” is a first person narrative from the perspective of a man who left home and has returned with different eyes. The HPL book club will be discussing this title at its May meeting on Thursday, May 20 at 10:00 am. The public is invited.
Many authors and artists have attempted to convey the concept of “home” in their art. Some, like Isak Dinesan, in “Shadows on the Grass”, weave word pictures that leave the reader sure they have visited Africa. Others use images to explain a sense of place like Margaret MacKichan and Bob Ross in “In the Kingdom of Grass”, a tribute to the Nebraska sandhills.
Often a famous person’s home is used as an illustration to inform about the celebrity’s character or personality. This is true of Ruth McCauley’s book “This Place in all its Seasons” about the Henry Fonda home in Grand Island and can also be seen on a larger scale in “Presidential Places: A Guide to Historic Sites of U.S. Presidents” by Gary Ferris.
When I read a book that conveys a particularly good sense of place, I always wonder if the author is using his or her own home as the setting. Glynne Betts wondered the same thing about the boardinghouse in Thomas Wolfe’s “Look Homeward, Angel” and ended up creating “Writers in Residence: American Authors at Home”.
But back to the art show to be held at the library in June, what image would you choose to illustrate your “Vision of Home”? The book “Pride in Our Hometowns: Portraits of Nebraska” does not include Hastings. Let’s see if we, as a community, can create and share some images that mean “home” and “Hastings”.