Get the picture, books full of them by famous photographers

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 2, 2014

SALISBURY — For Diane Griliches, Vivian Maier and Edward Curtis, taking pictures was a means to an end. The different ends pursued illustrate the possibilities of photography to create art, capture a moment or record history.
Diane Griliches, the author of “Thinking Photography,” was a director of community musical theater. But early magical years of snapping away with a Brownie box camera and spending hours in a darkroom left their imprint. As an adult, Griliches still feels the magic, but curiosity has led her to examine photography as “a gift of science to the arts.”
Her book covers technical and aesthetic elements of picture taking. Griliches hopes that readers will be enticed into the joy of the hunt, the discovery, the capture and the possibility of artistic creation. The photographs in the book are collected according to theme (“The South,” “Animals,” “Children”) or process (high contrast, infrared, triton, hand-painted). Griliches supplies notes on technique or thoughts on composition.
“Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows,” by Richard Cahan and Michael Williams, is the result of a team effort. Maier (1926-2009) was an amateur photographer who took more than 100,000 pictures of what pleased her as she roamed city streets. She ended life in poverty. Her belongings, including photo negatives and rolls of undeveloped film, ended up in a storage facility. In 2007, the trunks and boxes were bought for $250 by a Chicago auctioneer who sold them in small lots.
One of the collections was made available to Cahan and Williams, who organized the pictures in this book into “a photo memoir,” placing Maier’s work in the context of her life: pivotal years in France and New York City, travel across the United States, Chicago, the beach, the year 1968. It appears that Maier lived her adult life through a camera, and the photos are her daily journal. Cahan and Williams are reminded of Emily Dickinson: Maier “lived an irregular, mysterious life and was able to convey what she felt about our shared world in a way that helps us see that world anew.”
“Edward Sheriff Curtis,” by Edward Curtis and Joanna Cohan Scherer, is a collection of photographs taken by Curtis of Native American tribes in the first decades of the 20th century. Curtis wanted to provide an anthropological resource of a “vanishing race.” But since the old way of life was passing, and because Curtis insisted on accuracy, his subjects helped him create his photographs, putting on traditional clothes and demonstrating the old tools and weapons. And then there is the artistry used by Curtis to produce his spectacular images. Scherer, of the Smithsonian Institution, is an anthropologist and a photographer, and she says we can appreciate both the record and the artistry.
Children’s Storytime: Weekly Story Time through May 2. For more information call 704-216-8234.
Toddler Time (18- to 35-month olds) — 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays, headquarters; 11 a.m. Mondays, East.
Baby Time (6- to 23-month olds) — 10 a.m. Wednesdays, headquarters; 10 a.m. Mondays, East.
Preschool Time (3- to 5-year-olds) — 10:30 a.m. Thursdays, headquarters; 1:30 p.m. Tuesdays, South; 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., Thursdays, East.
Noodlehead (4- to 8-year-olds) — 4 p.m. Thursdays, headquarters; 4 p.m. Mondays, South.
Tiny Tumblers (6- to 35-month-olds) — Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:30 a.m., South.
Children’s art programs: Learn different art techniques and start a new art project; runs weekly during storytime. Art in the Afternoon, headquarters, Thursdays, 4:30 p.m.; Art Party, South, Wednesdays, 4 p.m.; Art with Char, East, Thursdays, 4 p.m.
JR’s Adventure Club: Headquarters, March 1, 11 a.m. Blast Off with Air Power. A different adventure each month for children of all ages. Call 704-216-8234 to learn more.
Dr. Seuss birthday party: East Branch, Monday, 3-4:30 p.m. Children of all ages are invited to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday with Cat in the Hat. For more information, call 704-216-7842.
Mipso concert rescheduled: Thursday, 7 p.m., Stanback Auditorium, headquarters. There are no more tickets. Standing room is offered. Tickets must be claimed at will call by 6;45 p.m. Thursday or those seats will open for others.
Book Chats for children at South branch: March 6, 4:15 p.m., “Knights of the Kitchen Table,” by John Scieszka, grades 3-4. March 27, 4:15 p.m., “From the Mixed Up Filed of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler,” grades 4-5. Children in grades 2-5 are invited to participate in Book Chats at South Rowan Regional Library in China Grove. Registration is required and space is limited. Please call 704-216-7728 for more information.
PAC Club: Headquarters, March 8, 11 a.m. “Where’s Waldo.” Popular Activities and Crafts Club, focusing on a different children’s book series each month for school-aged children. Call 704-216-8234 for more information.
Teen program: Mr. Penumbra’s Missing Book Scavenger Hunt, all 5:30-7 p.m. South, March 11; East, March 24; headquarters, March 25. Use iPods and other mobile devices to follow QR codes in search of the missing book. For middle and high school teens. For more information, call 704-216-8234.
Computer classes: March 17, 7 p.m., South; March 18, 1 p.m., East (registration required, call 704-216-8229); March 20, 9:30 a.m., Headquarters. If you’re new to computers or if you’ve just never felt comfortable with them, this is the class for you. We’ll go over the very basics of computers, from discussing computer components to how programs are opened and closed. Classes are free. Sessions are about 90 minutes long. Class size is limited and on a first-come, first-serve basis. Dates and times at all locations are subject to change without notice.
Discussion: “Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore,” East, March 18, 6:30 p.m.; South, March 25, 6:30 p.m.; headquarters, March 27, 12:30 p.m., brown bag event, drinks and dessert provided; headquarters, March 31, 6:30 p.m. This program is part of the 411 Community Read with Cabarrus, Stanly, Davidson and Rowan counties. Visit or call 704-216-8829 for more information.
Lego Mania: South, March 20, 4 p.m., Kids of all ages will build a city out of Legos. This program is part of the 411 Community Read. Call 704-216-7728 for more information.
Going green workshop: South, March 24, 5:45-7:15. Explore the many ways to prepare spinach, kale and other greens with samples and recipes to take home. Led by executive chef Chris Herron and Director of Food & Nutrition Sara Lynch of Morrison Food Services. All ages welcome, but anyone under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. There will be door prizes. Participants who attend four out of five workshops will be entered to win grand prize. While there is no charge to participate, registration is required. Visit or call 704-216-7734 to register, or for more information.
Displays for March: headquarters, log cabins, North Hills Christian School; South, 2D and 3D art by China Grove Middle School; East, Rockwell Civitans.
Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.