The Prescott Public Library holds an eclectic collection of over 130 pieces of art work, most of which has been donated to the library by the community. Below is a brief description of many of the works inside and outside of the library. For more information about the existing collection, visit the Ask a Librarian Desk or call 928.777.1526.
For inquiries about donating artwork please contact:
Prescott Public Library
215 E Goodwin Street
Prescott, AZ 86303
A custom-made bike rack shaped like a rattlesnake greets drivers as they head up the hill on Goodwin Street. Designed and built by local blacksmith Mike Riemer, the ribbon-cutting ceremony took place on April 12, 2012.
Along the sidewalk on Goodwin Street is a timeline of the world created by artist Fran Wildman. The beginning of time starts at the west side of the building and spans 5300 years of human history to the last part of the twentieth century on the east side. Wildman created several timelines around the state, including the Yavapai County timeline on the north side of the Courthouse Plaza.
Just outside of the Goodwin Street entrance, there is a life-size bronze mountain lion lounging on the wall above the library courtyard. The Friends of the Prescott Public Library commissioned Jesse Homoki to create the mountain lion, thanks to a donation from Dezi Lerner. The mountain lion was installed on March 10, 2008.
Seated outside our main entrance on Goodwin Street is a larger-than-life-size bronze horned lizard created by sculptor Heather Johnson Beary. Titled “Library Lizard,” the sculpture was commissioned by the Friends of the Prescott Public Library. “Library Lizard” is accompanied by a small sleeping cat, a butterfly and a ladybug at her side, but you have to look very close to find them.
The door to the courtyard is located on the east side of the library on the 2nd floor of the library near the Book Sale. Within is a sculpture of an avid reader, a bronze girl seated on a bench and engrossed in a book. This sculpture, “Booked for the Day,” is by artist Dan Hill and was donated by Seymour Petrovsky.
Outside the South entrance is a mural which starts at the east side of the library lawn, continues under the stairs that lead to the South parking lot and around the corner to the alley that leads from the automated book drop driveway. The mural’s theme is “Beyond Words” and it starts with the history of words, includes highlights of the history of Prescott, and ends with a glimpse into the future. The project directors were R.E. Wall and Maggie Dewar, who are also known as the Mural Mice. With help from 800 community members, they created the mural, starting painting it in 2008, and continued throughout the summer of 2009. “Beyond Words” celebrates the passage of free knowledge to the public.
Above the Goodwin Street entrance doors, there is a three-piece wood carving of ravens and a nest called “New Beginnings.” These were presented to the library as a gift of the artist, Bill Neely. Bill Neely also carved “Gambels’s Quail and Family,” which is found above the Wall of Honor on the 2nd floor.
To the west of the Goodwin Street entrance, there is a hand-carved mahogany bench by local artist Connie Foss. The back depicts two horses meeting nose-to-nose in the middle.
Each Katsina on display above the audiobook shelves has a small description by its side. The current collection of 29 Katsinam was donated to the library by Gardner Single and Ed Long, with additional Katsinam from Francine Garner. Bill Neely donated hundreds of hours on expert restoration work, and Jerry Paris designed, built and donated the cases.
Across from the Valentine Room, the historic painting “The Walker Party” by well-known Western artist, George Phippen, resides on the wall. A group of men led by mountain man Joe Reddeford Walker came to the Prescott area in search of gold, and this painting portrays this historic occasion. Finished in time for Prescott’s Centennial in 1964, it was presented to the library by Dr. David Rummel and his family.
Above the water fountain and near the elevator are two Yaqui and Mayo Pascola masks. Both masks use horsehair for beards, mustaches, and eyebrows, some with spectacular amounts of hair. Several ceremonies of the Yaqui and the Mayo Indians of Arizona and Sonora, Mexico represent a tradition that dates back to the early 17th century. These masks were presented to the Prescott-Caborca Sister City Committee in recognition of the committee’s support of El Templo Viejo and the 200 year anniversary of this church in our Sister City, Caborca, Sonora, Mexico.
At the entrance to the nonfiction section, there is a small version of the sculpture of Bucky O’Neill that is located on the Courthouse Plaza. The large sculpture was originally designed by Solon Borglum in 1907, and the smaller library version was replicated by Jack Oamer in 1981.
There are many hanging pieces by Kate Rinzler, an artist, educator, and Prescott resident until her death in 2010, on display in the Ruffner Reading Room. A selection of batiks hang in the windows, and several Rinzler’s prints from batiks are displayed on the east wall.
On the north wall of the Ruffner Reading Room, there are four circular sculpted sand paintings by Susan Popko titled “The Corn Story.” These were underwritten by the Louis C. Lerner Foundation.
Past the public computers to the south, there are two Kate Cory paintings, one titled “Indian Corn Ceremony” and the other called “Hopi Carding Wool.” Kate Cory was a local artist who became a good friend of Sharlot Hall, and the two friends are now buried side by side.
There are over 130 pieces of art in the library. Come and see the artwork in the treasure trove that is Prescott Public Library, Prescott’s Living Room. For more information visit the Ask a Librarian Desk on the 2nd floor of the library or call 928.777.1526.