Staffer Binky Donley Creates Buzzworthy Library Installation
Champaign Public Library has a new art installation, just in time for its reopening, thanks to Krannert Center’s Property Master Adriane Binky Donley. While You Were Away is the latest creation that Binky has conceived for the library atrium, a space she says is challenging to design for but that also inspires creativity, contemplation, and forward-thinking.
Binky considers issues of cost, weight, ease of load-in and load-out, and of course how the piece will be viewed both internally and externally to the building when designing these large-scale artworks. Of her ongoing work in this space, Binky says, “I always want it to be an immersive experience. Always. We don’t get very many of those in our go! go! go! day-to-day. I find that total immersion makes us pause . . . take a moment to admire what’s around us and take a moment for ourselves, too.”
The impetus for While You Were Away actually began last fall as Binky considered flowers and other objects but kept coming back to a bee-related concept. The idea was personal, too. She says, “For me, they make me think of two things: my Dad and how life goes on. My Dad raised bees when I was little. Having fresh honey and seeing how the honeycomb was made is a special memory. Also, bees or nature of any kind will take over and keep going in our absence. This is very true of current events and our absence from so many of the places we visit regularly. So, the bees have taken over the lobby while folks were away—making a home, keeping it safe, and creating a place of purpose while we are away.”
The Champaign Public Library is located at 200 West Green Street in Champaign.