Art in the Library Exhibit

Bob’s exhibit has been extended to September 28th!

The Boulder Junction Public Library welcomes the public to view their August “Art in the Library” exhibit featuring Bob Kovar. Bob’s photography can be viewed during regular library hours until the end of August.

Bob’s artist statement: “Creativity comes to me in these sweet packages wrapped in brown paper, and I’m often like a little kid tearing away at it to see what’s inside. I love playing music, taking pictures and writing. The musician in me loves improvisation, riffing on some groove that came out of nowhere and seeing just how far it might go and what else can be added to make it more interesting or even, on occasion, a sound or a beat I’ve never heard before. The photographer in me is much more bound by the limits of my cameras and the starkness of reality (it’s hard to take a picture of something that isn’t quite there yet) which can sometimes be so beautiful that there is simply no way a picture alone will tell the story. It’s possible to improvise with a camera or with an image in post-development, but my main goal is to share with others exactly what I thought I saw when I pressed the shutter release, so my images are not over produced or fiddled with very much. Lately, I have been writing about each image and seeing if that helps to bring it to life. I am finding great joy in the realization that words can be riffed and played with in much the same way as musical notes. I can’t read music and my vocabulary is not on par with anyone special and I consider myself a rookie when it comes to cameras and photography, so it’s all just pure experimentation for the fun of it with the goal of bringing a smile to my face and hoping that if I am lucky enough for THAT to happen, that one will appear on yours too!”

Bob’s connections to the Manitowish Waters area run long and deep. Bob’s grandparents bought 33 acres of land on Rest Lake in Manitowish Waters, WI in 1933 and he came here as a “summer kid” until he moved here permanently in 1980. He married a local girl, and they raised their family in a house they built on their property on Wild Rice Lake in 1988. Bob managed a cranberry marsh for 22 years and then decided he needed to get more involved in his community. He was instrumental in starting the North Lakeland Discovery Center and started and ran the Intercultural Leadership Initiative, a program that brought Native and non-Native kids together across the Lakeland region that build friendships and empowered youth to end racism amongst themselves and in their communities. He also was instrumental in establishing and was a founding member of the North Lakeland Education Foundation, Northwoods Restorative Justice, The Tribal AmeriCorps Program, the Zaagiibagaa Healing to Wellness Court, the HOPE Consortium, the Positive Action Coalition, The Wisconsin Native American Prevention Coalition, and the Tribal Behavioral Health Initiative. He is currently on the Board of Directors for the Ironwood Theatre and the North Woods Art Tour.

Bob “retired” from the lions’ share of this work in 2019 but continues to be a strong advocate for protecting and promoting the health and well-being of the inhabitants and wildness of the region, animate and inanimate, wild and human. Bob built a cozy studio on their property on Wild Rice Lake in 2019 which is open when he is not out in the great outdoors taking photos, paddling, cycling, birding, roller skiing, x-country skiing or exploring the deepest secrets in the deepest woods with his two little granddaughters.

Applications are being accepted for upcoming Art in the Library exhibits. The application form is available in the library or on the library website. The exhibits can be a single artist or a group of artists representing a theme or medium. If you have any questions about the Art in the Library exhibits, the application process, or the Artwork policy, please email the library at [email protected] or call the library at 715-385-2050.