WILTON, Conn. – The Wilton Library strives to inspire the imaginations of children — and the new Children’s Library entrance is the first step in that journey.
The new entrance will be celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 8, at 5 p.m.
Members of the Shoff Foundation Inc., which made the accessway possible through its donation, will be part of the festivities, which include a reception that is open to the public.
Richard L. Mason, president of the foundation, and Douglas T. Adams, vice president, will be the official ribbon-cutters.
The work is the creation of Wilton Library’s volunteer art chairman, Ed MacEwen, and his daughter, Bonnie MacEwen Sailer, and granddaughter, Jesse Sailer.
The project took a little over 14 months from conceptual design to painstakingly detailed painting of each flower and leaf to final installation of the multi-leveled, three-dimensional artwork.
“Our inspiration was Henri Rousseau, who is one of my favorite artists," MacEwen said. "Appropriately, I checked out a book about him from the library, and used his paintings to inform our work.”
The installation art encompasses a range of materials, including aluminum from which the canopy of overhanging leaves was cut, more than 70 individual colors of acrylic paints, and wooden porch columns, which were transformed by Jesse to make the tree trunks.
“The jungle-themed entrance is the gateway that invites children to explore what’s inside opening up limitless opportunities for discovery thanks to the Shoff Foundation,” said Elaine Tai-Lauria, executive director of Wilton Library.
The Shoff Foundation has been generous to the library. In March 2008, its grant improved accessibility of the library’s front entrance, including a new ramped front walkway, a covered canopy, a mobility scooter, new outdoor signs and an improved dropbox to return items.
More recently, the Shoff Foundation funded the maker space now known as Innovation Station.
The gifts were made in memory of Sheldon and Louise Shoff, former Wilton residents.
The Shoffs lived in Wilton for almost 30 years from the 1950s to the 1980s in the house that is now the Wilton Volunteer Ambulance Corps.
The ribbon cutting and reception are open to the public. For information, call 203-762-3950, ext. 213.
The library is located at 137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton.
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