180-lb. ‘books’: City grant merges literacy, artistic expression

Library reveal event next Wednesday to show off artists’ benches

COVINGTON, Ky. – Ever want to crawl inside of a good book? Thanks to a City of Covington grant, now you can. Quite literally (sort of).

The Kenton County Public Library will host its Book Bench Reveal & Reception next Wednesday to unveil six new benches shaped in the likeness of an open book. Painted by local artists who took inspiration from books and book illustrations, the benches’ themes range from “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” to “The Poisonwood Bible.”

The benches will be placed in locations throughout Covington sometime in May.

“What the artists created in a such a short time on an unconventional item is truly remarkable,” said Robin Klaene, Book Bench project manager and public relations director for the Kenton County Public Library. “The artist’s attention to detail on every aspect of these benches is truly breathtaking. I can’t wait to see them in the community later this spring.”

Each bench weighs more than 180 lbs. and, mimicking a book, is curved with ridges and multiple sides.

The book bench project was one of 12 projects to receive support from a “Quality of Place Grant” through the City of Covington’s Economic Development Department earlier this year. The selected projects support the department’s strategic focus on “Experiencing Covington” and embrace the City’s quirky vibe.

“This project has been percolating among Library staff for a few years, so when our Quality of Place Grant was announced, they jumped at the opportunity to make this idea a reality,” said Assistant Economic Development Director Sarah Allan. “Our team loves being able to support residents, businesses, and all who love Covington in implementing new concepts that make this place we call home that much better. This project is a perfect example of our fun aesthetic.”

Other partners in the Book Bench project were the Kenton County Public Library Foundation and Two Men & a Truck, a moving company that transported the benches and will assist in their installation.

About the event

The reveal event will happen from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 26, at the library’s Covington branch, 502 Scott Blvd.

The unveiling event is free and open to the public. The project’s artists will be on hand to meet and refreshments will be provided.

Featured local artists and the books that inspired them:

  • Phoenix Brumm-Jost, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” by Eric Carle.
  • Campbell County High School Honor Art students, “The Snowy Day,” by Ezra Jack Keats.
  • Claire Long, “Charlotte’s Web,” by E.B. White.
  • Terri Schatzman, “The Poisonwood Bible,” by Barbara Kingsolver.
  • Gabrielle Siekman, “Where the Crawdads Sing,” by Delia Owens.
  • Becca Stadtlander, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” by Lewis Carroll.

Public art and other projects funded by the City’s Quality of Place Grants will be unveiled at future events.


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