Art in the Library


Photo by Britney Chen

Becky Weber, Art Editor

Bingham’s Library is not only where the beauty of writing and literature is celebrated, but also the magnificence of art and of the past.

If you’ve ever stepped foot in the library you’ll know what I mean when I say that it can be a little… overwhelming. It has a high ceiling giving it a roomy feel, the walls covered in pictures. Shelves are full of books and ceramics, display cases with loving relics resting inside. You just have to stand there for a moment, awestruck, to take it all in. But then many people move on, accepting the pieces as a part of the library. But they’re what helps to breathe life, not only into the library but also into the school.

The display cases are also known as the Decade Cases. They were originally put together back in 2008 to celebrate Bingham’s centennial. Bingham Alumni helped to collect the item to place in them, headed by the Alumni president Scott Crump. They’re already working on the next display case, the 2010-2019 one.

Then there are the photos that hang on the wall above the librarian’s desks. They look nice, sepia-toned and all, but what they really are gives them value. They’re pictures of old Bingham.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Photo by Britney Chen
Snapshots of the daily life of not just any people, but previous Bingham students. It shows kids going to dances, the flood they had one year, and kids playing in the streets. Those pictures show scenes that feel so close to home. Looking at those photos you can see the present echoed in the past. Jeri Albrecht, the head librarian, described why she loved them: they show that we are as we’ve always been, a very community school.

One of the truly enchanting facets of the library is the art. Because it’s not just any art, it’s the art of previous students. Like everything else, it’s a connection the history and the legacy of Bingham High School. All of the pictures are chosen and purchased at the end of the school year, selected from the little art show the library does by the administration, mostly based on preference. The variety of pieces chosen shows the diversity of the school. Not only two-dimensional art but the ceramics that lay in the display cases.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Photo by Britney Chen
In recent years they’ve also included metalwork as pieces in the art show and chosen some to keep. Like my personal favorite: the giant palm tree that rests in the southwest corner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Photo by Britney Chen

One of the best parts is how effectively it shows that the students today are just like the students of the past. It’s almost impossible to tell which are the oldest pieces of art just by looking at them. For instance, Black and White Abstract, an art piece done by Jorg Sonntag back in 1976, looks like something any student in AP Art might do today. It’s located in the northeast corner of the library, on the corner right above the ramp. All the art pieces owned by the school are recorded in the Art Inventory, containing the information of each piece (with a few details occasionally lost to time). It’s a visual example of our connection to the past.

The art in the library shows how our school has a firm love for art. It’s a part of us and a part of our school. We take art classes because there is more to students than just mathematics and memorizing facts. There’s the expression of one’s self. The art is a reflection of a school and a way of saying that we still remember those who have passed through the school and moved on to live and that they will always have a deep connection to Bingham High School.