Libraries generally don’t have a reputation for innovation. Instead, they are institutions of history and tradition. But Anythink Library comes from a different place, where private investments through the Anythink Foundation allow the scope and influence to extend beyond the status quo. With seven branches and a bookmobile, Anythink encourages learning by creating a special place to do so through the inclusion of public art projects, expansion of collections, special programming or classes and other projects.
The newest project Anythink has brewed up includes a local Denver artistic design group, Alt Ethos. Using technology, light, sound and color, Alt Ethos will incite curiosity in the visitors of the Anythink Perl Mack Library when they walk by The Singing Tree. The trunk of the tree will contain buttons to play — an integrated MIDI keyboard — that will change the light and sounds emitting from the tree. As the name suggests, the interactive sculpture combines music and nature, inspiring those who play with it to contemplate the mysterious beauty of trees and other wild things. It would not be a disservice to compare it to Avatar, where a certain reverence for the natural world seems to be intensified with the presence of glowing colors. Installation of The Singing Tree is scheduled for April 27 from 1 to 3 p.m.
“One of the outcomes of Anythink’s strategic plan is that ‘people are enriched by learning and culture,’” said Anythink Director of Innovations & Brand Strategy Stacie Ledden in a press release. “Sharing public art with our community is one way that we do this. ‘The Singing Tree’ will embody all of the whimsy, imagination and informal learning that we celebrate at Anythink.”
This installation is the latest addition to Anythink’s This is Who We Are project — an effort to pair community members with local artists to create public art. The Singing Tree partners Alt Ethos with the Perl Mack location, to honor the former Anythink Board of Trustees President, Ray Coffey. Coffey was a board member of the Foundation for a decade and still dedicates his support to the mission of Anythink.
Anythink Library’s Perl Mack location is at 7611 Hilltop Circle in Denver.