Our library exists to offer diverse access to information, education, and culture to the public.

With programs including Art Lending and our inspired Puppet Room, patrons of the Braddock Carnegie Library can check out books and much, much more!

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The Art Lending Collection

Artwork? yes, artwork! I can check out artwork and take it home? Yes!

The Art Lending Collection makes artwork available for check out to all library patrons in Allegheny County. The Art Lending Collection has been open since October 2013 initiated as an artist project by Transformazium as part of the 2013 Carnegie International. The locally hired and trained Arts and Culture Facilitators frame public programs in the Braddock Carnegie Library that present contemporary art as a field with multiple histories, perspectives, engaged learning opportunities and points of access, while emphasizing the roll of diverse publics as producers of both culture and of the context in which art remains contemporary.


We believe that the library is a unique space in which to experience art. Libraries contain a sense of both Private and Public, and both of these are useful for thinking about and making meaning from and between artworks.
— Transformazium

The Art Lending Collection is made up of 6 special collections:  A group of works donated by artists participating in the 2013 Carnegie International; a group of posters of favorite paintings donated by library patron and scholar of literature and Impressionism Regis Welsh; a group of works from the collection of  Braddock resident Jim Kidd, as well as several works made by Mr. Kidd; a group of works from the collection of Ray Henderson, who owned and ran an art gallery in Braddock and another in Wilkinsburg in the nineties; a group of artworks and texts as artworks assembled by Transformazium that has informed and inspired their  practice; and a collection of work from artists who are incarcerated at South Fayette Correctional Institution, curated by Mary Carey and Richard Guy.

The Art Lending Collection also includes a collection of reference material including art historical and theoretical books as well as artist monographs. This material expands possibilities for discourse and interpretation sparked by each art piece in the collection by providing further contextual and historical information about the artist and the work. The books in the collection were selected by a range of arts educators such as Rick Lowe, Jon Rubin, Julie Ault, Harrell Fletcher and Helen Reed, each of whom offer a unique perspective and a new access point to contemporary arts discourse.

 

The Puppet Room

The Project

Allegheny County Library Association (ACLA) has partnered with Puppets for Pittsburgh to make giant puppets available for checkout at select public libraries throughout Allegheny County.  ACLA, seeking new ways to engage the public through art, began work with Puppets for Pittsburgh in 2012, cataloging the puppets, and building partnerships with several libraries across the region. 

Puppets are currently housed at Braddock Carnegie Library and Bethel Park Public Library.  The collection includes giant backpack style puppets as well as smaller puppet masks, flat stick puppets, and basket-head puppets.  To find the available puppets, simply search the library catalog using keyword: “Puppets for Pittsburgh”.

 The Collection

Originally founded in 2006 at Studio Capezzuti, Puppets for Pittsburgh is a collection of giant puppets.  Created and managed by local artist Cheryl Capezzuti, the Puppets for Pittsburgh collection has continued to grow over the years.  Each puppet in the collection is handmade by Capezzuti in collaboration with other artists as well as the community at large. Most of the puppets in the collection have been created over the years for the First Night Pittsburgh Parade, which Capezzuti also produces.

The puppet collection is maintained largely by an ongoing series of free workshops where individuals of all ages are invited to learn the art of puppet making, and assist in repairing puppets or creating new puppets for the collection.  Since its inception in 2006, hundreds of people have participated in workshops both at Studio Capezzuti and other locations throughout the community.

Puppets in the collection are made using paper mâché, recycled cardboard, and a number of other materials.  The collection has grown to include giant puppets (9-11feet tall when worn), puppet masks, flat stick puppets, and more.

Workshops

Braddock Carnegie Library hosts workshops for the community focused on the Puppets for Pittsburgh collection. Led by puppet-maker Cheryl Capezzuti, the workshops teach local residents how to turn recycled materials into art while helping to create a new puppet for the collection and how to repair and maintain other puppets in the collection in a fun, creative, and relaxing atmosphere.  If you have an interest in participating in future puppet making workshops, contact the library for workshop dates.  All ages are welcome!