Thursday, March 31, 2011

For the Love of Books:
Displaying Your Book Collections

Choosing a deep red color for the ceiling gives warmth to this cozy home library. Image:

My fascination with books began in college while majoring in English and Poetry at the University of Virginia.  I love not only the intellectual stimulation they provide, but also the way they feel in your hand, their weight, the smell of the paper, and the numerous uses of typography. I have always liked the quietness of libraries and bookstores, and over the years I worked in many. Writing became a love of mine and I enjoyed having stacks of beautiful books around me and also collecting books that had a beautiful design component. Today, design books and books about Paris seem to dominate my shelves and I can't stop in a bookstore without going to the Home Design or Travel area and doing some research for anything new.

Colorful, tattered books. Pinterest by Bookmarklet
I bring this up because it came to my attention that a major book fair, The 51st Annual Antiquarian Book Fair, is about to return to the Park Avenue Armory in New York City, April 7-10, 2011.  This fair has over 100 international exhibitors who showcase rare and antique books, maps and prints, and the event is considered a little bit of heaven to book collectors around the world.

Even with the Kindle, the iPad and numerous other e-book applications out there, one thing is still clear: people love to collect books.

Displaying old books on a table just for the joy.
Where do all of these books go once they are acquired? How are they then collected and displayed?

There was a time when most homes built in America included a cozy, small side room, den or game room (definitely not a "home-office" or "entertainment room" which are considered de rigueur today). There was at least one wall in that side room that would be devoted to books. This room was also a place where Dad read the paper, Susie worked on a book report, and Jimmy did his Crossword Puzzles--okay, this is rather a 50's view, but true none the less.

Today, in place of this little room, many homes now have custom home libraries that are truly out of this world. I came across some amazing images recently of book-art installations and home libraries that really have a magical, dreamlike quality to them.

Books can be utilitarian by stacking them high and using them as a table, or they can be majestic, organized from floor to ceiling like Karl Lagerfeld's gigantic library collection seen below. Books can also be used as art, as seen in Wary Myers unique way of using books in his art installations.

Books take on a life of their own when they are organized in a voluminous way, and they not only give character to a room but they are ultimately THE character: engaging, inviting, cordial, and colorful.

Enjoy the images here and use them for inspiration in your own home. There are so many ways to design the home library of your dreams, and these can be just the start!

Love everything about this space, the white floors, bookcases, and wood beam ceiling, and using what appears to be kitchen shelves for both books and other collections. Pinterest, Katie Wilson For My Future Home
I think a lot of design inspiration for home libraries has come from the austere Trinity Library in Dublin, Ireland.  I have been in this amazing "Long Room" and can attest to the beauty of the mile-high bookshelves and numerous ladders. from Just Plain Pretty by Kathy Zynda,
An open, sunny room with upper reading loft. Ladders are important! From Pinterest, For the Home By Mel.

Mysterious book corridor with iron spiral staircase leading upwards. From

No need to be a neat-nik with your book collections! from
A place for conversation, to read, to enjoy the fire. Home of Bev and John Sullivan, Publisher of Atlantic Monthly and Mayor of my town. photo by Joanie Ballard

The old with the new: Beautiful ceiling plasterwork juxtaposed with modern bookcase and ladder.
Wish I knew where this was! Stunning use of vertical space. From

Art work at it's most sublime. Love this wall installation by Wary Myers. A little magical. Warymyers.blogspot.
You can do more than just stack books, you can also create artwork with discarded books! Basement Stacks Book Installation, Art piece by Wary Myers, Old Baxter Library in Portland, from Wary Myers.blogspot.

A ladder is all you need. Love the skyward approach. Innovative Design Inspiration on

Karl Lagerfeld, "happy victim of books" in his gigantic

Love the height and the green curtain that closes when you want to hide the wall. Lovelylittle

Secret Library Door from So cute and playful. Love the turquoise too.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

DC Graffiti Art:
Photographs by Sam Mullany

Sam Mullany, Photographer
My nephew, Sam Mullany, recently documented graffiti art all around the DC area, collecting images for a school project.  I thought his photographs were wonderful and wanted to post them. Sam has a talent for graphic art himself, so it's interesting to see what he chose and how he photographed each graffiti image. Sam is currently working on creating a logo for the band Head Tilt.

During his search around the DC area, he found a Shepard Fairey piece which is quite colorful and unique. I posted this one first. Enjoy Sam's photographs!
Shepard Fairey

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Master Realist Colin Poole at R.H. Ballard

Colin Poole, "Summer Harvest", Oil on Panel
Beginning March 23, 2011, we will be exhibiting the work of Colin Poole at the R.H. Ballard Gallery in Little Washington, VA.

Poole's stunning oil paintings feature American landscapes and beautifully composed still lifes. He was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Virginia, and now resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico where he also has his studio.

Poole has exhibited extensively throughout the United States, including museum, juried, group and solo exhibitions. He is represented in over 350 private collections, and has completed numerous corporate commissions for organizations such as SONY, AT&T, DuPont, the National Geographic Society, and the National Audubon Society, among others.  His complete biography is listed after the images below.

Here are several paintings now on display in the gallery. Click on the descriptions to be taken to the website for pricing and to view more of his works.
Colin Poole, "Nectarine et Papaye", Oil on Panel
Colin Poole, "Summer Fields", Oil on Panel
Colin Poole, "Listen to the Ocean", Oil on Panel



Bachelor of Arts, studio art with concentration in sculpture, Connecticut College
Art instructor, Junior and Senior years


Una Hanbury: Bronze Sculpture
Lou Stovall: Silk Screen
David Smalley: Metal Sculpture


Kildonan School
Virginia Commonwealth University
Smithsonian Institution
Western New Mexico University

Selected Museum Exhibitions

2011 Melchers Museum, Fredericksburg,VA
2010 Appleton Museum of Art, Ocala, FL
2010 Museum of Texas Tech University, Lubbock,TX
2010 Woodson Art Museum,Wausau,WI
2009 Owensboro Museum of Fine Art, Owensboro, KY
2009 Norton Art Foundation, Shreveport, LA
2009 Stark Gallery, Texas A&M, College Station,TX
2008 The Springfield Museums, Springfield, MA
2008 Wichita Art Museum,Wichita, KS
1994 Corcoran Gallery of Art,Washington, D.C
1994 The Museum of American Illustration, NY, NY
1994 The Museum of American Illustration, NY, NY
1991The Charles Sumner Museum,Washington, D.C.
1991 The Museum of American Illustration, NY, NY

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2011 Ann Korologos Gallery, Basalt, CO
2010 Gallery B, Lexington, KY
2008 Kneeland Gallery, Ketchum, ID
2008 IAG Galleries, Naples, FL
2007 Gallagher Gallery, Bethesda, MD
2006 Saks Fifth Avenue,Tyson’s Corner, VA
2005 Carol Henderson Gallery, Fort Worth,TX
2003 Gallery 1646, Santa Fe, NM
1999 Century Gallery, Alexandria,VA
1993 Perry House Galleries,Washington, D.C.

Selected Juried Exhibitions

2009 Sage Creek Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
2008 Devin Galleries, Coeur d’Alene, ID
2008 Scottsdale Fine Art, Scottsdale, AZ
2002 Clark House Gallery, Bangor, ME
2002 The Art Place, Palm Springs, CA
1997 The S.I. of Los Angeles, CA
1994-5 The Collectors Art Gallery,Washington, D. C.
1994 Murray Feldman Gallery, Hollywood, CA
1994 Ogilvy and Mather Exhibition, NY, NY
1994 The S.I. of Los Angeles, CA
1993 Perry House Galleries,Washington, D.C.
1993 The Arts Club of Washington, D.C.
1992 The Century Association Exhibition, NY, NY
1991 Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada

Selected Featured Artist & Group Exhibitions

2010 - 2011 Ann Korologos Gallery, Basalt, CO
2008 - 2011 Gallery B, Lexington, KY
2007 - 2011 Kneeland Gallery, Ketchum, ID
2007 - 2011 Zantman Art Galleries, Carmel and Palm Desert, CA
2008 - 2010 Howard/Mandville Gallery, Kirkland,WA
2010 Skotia Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
2007 - 2009 Bucks County Gallery of Fine Art, New Hope, PA
2007 - 2009 Chasen Galleries, Charlotte, NC and Richmond,VA
2008 - 2009 Hallmark Fine Art Gallery, La Jolla, CA
2007 - 2009 IAG Galleries, Naples, FL
2008 - 2009 Manitou Galleries, Santa Fe, NM
2007 - 2008 Ed Chasen Fine Art,Washington, DC
2007 - 2008 Gasov and Gurule Fine Arts, Scottsdale,AZ
2001 - 2008 Shidoni Gallery. Santa Fe, NM
2005 - 2007 Kornye Gallery West, Fort Worth,TX
2007 Serendipity Fine Arts, Palm Beach, FL
2004 - 2006 Canyon Road Fine Arts, Santa Fe, NM
2003 - 2005 Carol Henderson Gallery, Fort Worth, TX
2002 - 2005 Gallery One, Mentor, OH
2002 - 2005 Peg Alston Fine Arts, NY, NY
2004 - 2005 Willow Gallery, Scottsdale,AZ
2003 - 2004 Hanson Gallery, Ritz Carlton, San Francisco, CA
2002 - 2004 Principle Gallery,Alexandria,VA
1999 - 2002 Century Gallery, Alexandria,VA
1985 - 1986 Shidoni Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

Selected Collections

Lourdes Cathedral, France
National Geographic Society
Saatchi and Saatchi
The U.S. Mint

Represented in over 350 private collections, including those of actors Tim Allen and John Travolta

Selected Corporate Commissions

Colony Glass
General Mills
Grainger Corporation
International Paper
J.Walter Thompson
Mill Pond Press
Mitsubishi International
National Audubon Society
The Nature Conservancy
Orion Satellites
Standard Pacific
Sun Microsystems
U.S. Postal Service
William Morris Agency

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mandela Clothing Line
46664 Apparel Launches August 2011

Clothing line 46664 Apparel with Nelson Mandela's hand as logo.
by Joanie Ballard

This is a most surprising and inspiring idea I have heard of in a while.

Nelson Mandela, Nobel Prize Winner, anti-apartheid icon and fighter for social justice, has started a new clothing line that will help support his charities and the Nelson Mandela Foundation, and also bring attention to the clothing and textile businesses of South Africa.

The clothing line is called 46664 Apparel, named after Mandela's inmate number at Robben Island Prison. This is a brilliant concept that brings not only attention to important social issues but also work and financial support to a struggling clothing industry.

According to the 46664 website:  "The launch of the 46664 Apparel is a significant step in 46664’s pursuit of the sustainability needed to take forward the humanitarian legacy, social justice projects and global awareness and prevention campaign, of its founder, Nelson Mandela..." in particular it's 46664 Aids Awareness Campaign.

According to Achmat Dangor, a 46664 board member, "46664 has evolved to become more than a global HIV/Aids Awareness and Prevention campaign.  The work of the organization encompasses Mr. Mandela's humanitarian legacy as well as confronting and inspiring action to address the broader social injustices in our society. To do this effectively, 46664 needs reliable and sustainable income streams, something we believe 46664 Apparel can significantly contribute to." It is important to note that "this is the first global apparel brand to emerge from South African and is designed to stand along side the world's most high-profile brands."

The brand's logo is an embroidered palm which symbolizes Mandela's hand.  Here are several images from the men's and ladies' wear clothing line set to officially launch in a stand alone store in Johannesburg, August 2011, with international distribution planned for 2012.

Images and Websites Credits:
46664 Apparel
Nelson Mandela Foundation

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Supermoon March 19, 2011

On Saturday, March 19, 2011, the moon will be at its closest point to Earth, making it appear larger and brighter in the sky.
By Joanie Ballard

Living in the country, the effects of a brilliant full moon can be really stunning. The big "Supermoon" has arrived in all it's glory and I am in awe.

According to NASA, on March 19, 2011, the moon will be the closest it has been to the Earth in 18 years, and it will also be at its fullest.

Last night, March 18, 2011, I took a few pictures of the this huge and glorious "Supermoon" near my home. I have posted one image of the evening moon (7:30pm) which was so clear and large it seemed as though it could touch the earth, and one image of the March 19th morning moon (6:00am) which was truly super-bright as it sat at the horizon.

I took this photo of the moon over my house the evening of March 18, 7:30pm
I took this photo of the full moon this morning, 6:00am, March 19, 2011.
According to CBC News, "Earth's closest celestial neighbour will appear to loom larger and brighter than usual on Saturday night, as astronomers anticipate a cosmic event called an "extreme supermoon". Scientists say the natural phenomenon — in which the moon reaches its closest point to this planet — will cause abnormally high and low tides worldwide. The occurrences, technically known as "lunar perigees," were previously visible in 1955, 1974, 1992, 1993 and 2005. But what makes this one particularly special is that it coincides with a full moon, which hasn't happened since 1993, according to Geoff Chester of the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C."

Top image: 
Other articles of interest:
Huffington Post
Universe Today
Yahoo News

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Get Your Guinness On!
Iconic Advertising of an Esteemed Beer

by Joanie Mullany Ballard

In celebration of all things Irish today (I am mostly Irish, Mullany is my maiden name), I am posting a few of my favorite vintage ads from the famous GUINNESS beer brand.  I love good advertising, the kind that is truly artful and solidifies a brand in the public's consciousness through clever and unique imagery and phrasing.  These colorful and graphic artworks were instrumental in how we think of GUINNESS today.

I am posting images from the 1930's through the 1960's, and it's interesting how little they actually changed visually through their bold-block typography and repetition of their most popular phrase "My Goodness My Guinness".  The use of animals (ostrich, seals and kangaroos), and some Dali-esque imagery have an almost surreal quality at times--the beer foam smiling face trying to sip the last drop of Guinness comes to mind.

But in the end, these are all fun and amusing ads and they really make you want to grab a pint and make a toast (although responsibly, of course)! Happy St. Patrick's Day!






1961, the last of the animal ads...





1961: typography changes along with a more 60's style composition of the poster
Book I recommend: with great information on the history of Guinness: Guinness, An Official Celebration of 250 Remarkable Years , Hachette Pub., history, ads, recipes.

Images in post: Guinness