August 27, 2011 - November 5, 2011
Founder David Kipens at Libros Schmibros in Boyle Heights. Photo: Marianne Williams.
ABOUT THE RESIDENCY
Due to the impending closing of Libros Schmibros at the Hammer, the shop is no longer accepting book donations.
The Hammer Museum’s Public Engagement program will bring an artist project by David Kipen—an interpretation of Libros Schmibros, a nonprofit lending library and used-book shop in Boyle Heights—to Westwood. Libros Schmibros will be set up in the Hammer Museum’s lobby gallery. Kipen, former Director of Literature for the National Endowment for the Arts and a past book critic for the San Francisco Chronicle, established Libros Schmibros in July 2010 with his collection of roughly seven thousand books, in response to the lack of accessibility to books in his Boyle Heights community.
Westwood has also seen the closure of several bookstores recently, as well as a reduction in some hours at nearby libraries. Libros Schmibros at the Hammer will increase Westwood’s access to books, while serving as a public square where visitors can check out, acquire, or donate books, and interact with Kipen, his team of volunteers, and other visitors. Authors will also serve as bookstore volunteers and give free readings in the intimate setting of the lobby gallery. This project will further the Public Engagement program’s commitment to strengthen the connections between artists and visitors.
The collection of available books will include a strong selection of literature and Californiana, and gradually will begin to mirror the Westwood community, as residents donate books. Libros Schmibros in Boyle Heights will remain open concurrently with Libros Schmibros at the Hammer.
Libros Schmibros at the Hammer Hours:
Wednesday-Saturday 11am-7pm; & Sunday, October 2, 11am-5pm & Sunday, October 9, 11am-5pm
Now continuing through November 5.
The Hammer Museum’s Public Engagement program seeks to create a new kind of interactive museum: an artist-driven visitor engagement program that encourages contact among visitors, artists, and Museum staff, and activates spaces in imaginative ways.
Public Engagement and AIR were established in 2009 thanks to a James Irvine Foundation Arts Innovation Fund grant. Via AIR, artists examine and respond to fundamental museum issues related to the visitor experience in an attempt to deepen the Hammer’s connection with its guests.