Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Scott Lipanovich

The ex-coworker and writer who recommended Michael Chabon was named Scott Lipanovich. Scott also recommended Robert Stone’s Dog Soldiers and Louise Erdrich’s Love Medicine. I read and liked both books. (I do remember being annoyed by the publisher calling Love Medicine a novel as it was clearly a book of short stories.) Now & then over the years I’ve popped Scott’s name into a search engine in hopes of seeing his writing or a publication announcement or something. You see, I never did get a chance to read Scott’s work and I’ve always been curious. My latest search results provide some Lipanovich news. According to an article in SonomaCounty.com Scott has curated an art collection for the eight year old Doyle library. (The Doyle replaced the Plover Library where I worked as a student employee):

[T]he Doyle Library now houses The Doyle Collection, a clutch of 80 artworks by 52 artists, all of who[m] worked either as staff or faculty at the JC since the college’s art department was established in 1950.

Covering 1.5 acres of wall space on the third and fourth floors, these artworks — there are two sculptures, the rest [are] framed — represent the output of the cream of Sonoma County artists for the past 60-plus years and include such surprising names as California funk artist Robert Arneson, painter Maurice Lapp, and the great North Coast naturalist Larry Thomas.

The Doyle Collection is a labor of love curated by library technician Scott Lipanovich, who amassed the donated art works solely at his own expense and during his own volunteer time over the course of two-and-a-half years.

“We have this great building, great natural light, and abundance of flat spaces on the walls,” Lipanovich explains. “It seems only natural to create a great art collection.”

The bohemian.com has another article on Scott’s project:

All the art had to have been made by SRJC faculty and staff who were at the college from 1950 or later. As there was no budget for the project, the work had to be donated. If the artist was alive, he or she would bear the cost of framing; if the artist was not, Lipanovich invariably ended up paying for it himself.

He has also been happy to spend Friday through Sunday for nearly three years visiting artists, spending full days viewing their life's work, and coaxing donations. "We only had about seven donation-donations," Lipanovich estimates. "Usually," he smiles, "it was a pursuit."

Such pursuits normally included food and conversation, and perhaps a new friendship. Not a bad way to spend one's long weekends, actually.

"The best part of doing this was the donors," Lipanovich says, referring to the artists he met. "Spending time with the donors and just having lunch. Hanging out. The donors are great."

I have not visited the Doyle Library. The Plover Library must have been torn down in favor of the Doyle. So there’s that you-can’t-go-home-again. I wonder if you can still find the VHS tape of my graduation speech in the collection.

Oh, and Scott? Nice arms!

photo credit: Sara Sanger / Bohemian.com

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