June 25, 2016

Mostly sunny

Artwork completes library

Staff Writer

BRUNSWICK — The Brunswick branch of the Medina County District Library opened months ago, but in district library Director Carole Kowell’s eyes, the building wasn’t finished until last week.

On Thursday, Akron-based glass artist Bob Pozarski hung the final piece in a five-piece stained-glass artwork titled “Unusual Weather.” The glass pieces are displayed near the entrance of the library above a partial wall. Kowell, who spent the first 18 years of her career at the Brunswick Library, and her father, Charles Crouse, donated the artwork in memory of Kowell’s mother, Carolyn W. Crouse, who passed away last spring.

The abstract art piece uses a variety of colors, three-dimensional elements, prisms and geometric shapes made of hand-blown and hand-forged glass to show different aspects of weather, including the sun, moon, stars and raindrops.

Akron artist Bob Pozarski cleans up any remaining smudges after hanging the final piece in a five-piece stained-glass artwork called “Unusual Weather” near the entrance of the Brunswick Library. The piece was donated by Carole Kowell, Medina County District Library director, and her father, Charles Crouse, in memory of her mother, Carolyn W. Crouse, who died last year. Kowell worked at the Brunswick Library for 18 years and said she’s glad to leave something behind that doubles as a tribute to her mom and the library she loves. (Shirley Ware | Photo Editor)

But when Kowell looks at the piece, she’s reminded of her mother.

“My dad gave me her old portfolio from when she was in high school and one of the things that she had drawn was a geometric design,” Kowell said. “She actually won an award for that, so I guess in a way, Bob’s reminds me of the geometric shapes of what my mom had done.”

Kowell said had her mother’s life been different, she would have taken her love of design and color further than her high school sketchbook.

“I think if she didn’t have to earn a living, if she had been the boy in her family way back when and gone to college, I think she would have pursued art,” Kowell said. “But she couldn’t do it — she had to become a secretary and go to business school.”

Kowell said her father and mother always nurtured her love of books, and her father was the clerk-treasurer of the Twinsburg library.

“She loved libraries and took me to the library a lot growing up, hence my career,” Kowell said of her mother, brushing tears from her eyes. “So I think this is very fitting.”

Pozarski said it took about three months to put the five-piece composition together from handmade glass pieces.

“First, I had to make lots of pieces of colored glass,” Pozarski said. “I make pieces by glass-blowing, and I make glass by fusing it in a kiln, and then I grind it into lenses and prisms.”

The five stained-glass pieces are based around parallel, differently sized rectangles accented with circles, raindrops, diamonds and other odd shapes.

Pozarski used a variety of lighter colors, from greens and lavenders to pale blues and yellows, in the pieces and said he chose a lighter palate because the artwork will not be hit by natural light because it’s not near a window. He added he gravitates toward darker hues if a piece will have the benefit of direct sunlight.

With its variety of colors, shapes and textures, “Unusual Weather” is meant to reveal something different with each look.

“I don’t like art that you can take in at a glance and get the whole gist of it,” Pozarski said. “With a lot of my pieces, you can look over and over again and find new things in it.”

Pozarski said with glass, looking from different angles reveals different reflections of light and shades of color.

The single stained-glass circle flanked by two rectangles on each side was turning heads as patrons entered the library.

“I just can’t believe how incredibly beautiful it turned out,” Kowell said. “It succeeded my expectations.”

Kowell said she’s glad to leave something behind that doubles as a tribute to her mother and the library she loves.

“I know my mom was very proud of me and my career and everything I’ve done,” Kowell said. “I hope she’s proud of this, too.”

Schaefer may be reached at 330-721-4048 or hschaefer@ohio.net.