Founded in 1995 and incorporated in 1996, the Euless Library Foundation’s (ELF’s) mission is to “work to enhance the visibility and growth of the Euless Public Library through the purchase of public art and the support of programs and projects that will enable the Library to become the cultural center of Euless.”
ELF’s initial charter was to bring art to the community in an interesting and educational manner. By focusing on bronze sculptures for its first project, ELF envisioned art in its three-dimensional form – something that could be viewed from all angles. And by placing it at the entrance to the library, the art would be available to the community 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Two bronze sculptures at the entrance to the library represent the first two major projects sponsored by ELF.
“Rapture of the Human Spirit” was dedicated at a community reception in August 1997, just one year after the new library facility opened. At a cost of $47,800 it was an aggressive project for a newly-formed foundation, but one that was met with eagerness and enthusiasm by the community. ELF was able to completely pay for this through local fundraising activities.
“Rapture of the Human Spirit” depicts three children, approximately ages 5, 10 and 15 years old, reading books outdoors on a quilt. Each child is in a pose characteristic to his or her age. The 5-year-old girl is balanced on her knees; the 10-year-old girl is daydreaming about what she has just read; and the 15-year-old boy is sitting in a casual, relaxed position. The sculpture is viewable from a full 360 degrees.
In January, 1999, the second bronze sculpture joined the first at the entrance to the library. “It was just like yesterday…” depicts an elderly gentleman observing the students in the first sculpture. He appears to be reminiscing about his youth and remembering what it was like as he was growing up. At a cost of $21,518, ELF fundraising projects successfully paid for this project in full. A local contest was held to name the sculpture and a public dedication ceremony introduced it to the community.
After the initial sculptures were installed at the library entrance, ELF members decided to look to the inside of the library for the next projects. In 2000 two bronze statues (girl and boy) were purchased with funds raised through ELF’s annual fundraising campaigns. At a cost of approximately $15,000, both Bookworm II and Time Out now sit proudly in the entrance hall to the library building.
In April, 2002, two paintings by David Scherer were added at a cost of $2,850. Scherer incorporates musical themes into his visual art in a way that encourages the observer to see something different each time he views a Scherer painting. Entitled “Guitar II” and “The Music Maker,” each painting is composed of bold, bright colors and a combination of lines and angles that are considered “eclectic, complex and energetic.” Both paintings are hung in the Teen Room near the entrance of the library.
The “Blooms of Enlightenment,” were completed in July 2005 and dedicated August 12, 2005. Blooms features over 1,000 pounds of hand-blown glass art that were made to evoke images of growing and blooming floral elements. The Blooms, individually called roundels, took approximately two hours and requires as many as four people working together as a team to create. The 68 roundels, weighing 10-20 pounds each are welded to a metal structure inside of the xx’ tall window on the south wall of the Library. You can’t miss this beautiful art feature when you enter the Library. At a cost of $125,000, this project was created by David Keens with assistance from students in the University of Texas at Arlington Art Department where students are trained in the unique art of glass blowing.
The most recent project is the “FabEuless Memories” historic tile mural. This mural is entirely composed of over 200 individually created ceramic tiles featuring people, places and things important to Euless.
ELF members are focused on providing variety in the forms of art selected, from bronze sculptures to paintings to hand-blown glass. As part of each of these projects, meetings have been held within the community to introduce people to the art itself, the artist and the process used to produce the art. ELF intends to continue to pursue unique art and programs for the community. To date, all art projects undertaken by the Euless Library Foundation have been funded completely by ELF fundraising activities within the community.