Sitting in what once was described as the hub of "inherited knowledge," an intricately-crafted gazebo - devised by city artist Marguerite P. Bierman - ceremonially was unveiled and dedicated Sunday afternoon.
Officials at the James V. Brown Library believe the new "striking" and "classical" iron structure, designed to evoke repose and creative thought, reintroduces art to a place known for inspiring contemplation.
Along with interpretive dance and poetry, Bierman, along with her mother Priscilla and brother George, dedicated the gazebo in the library reading room to the memories of her late father Lt. Col. Clarence Bierman and sister Suzette Bedford.
The Turning Pointe School of Ballet performs “Bolero” by Maurice Ravel and “Peer Gynt” by Edvard Greig. Original chorographer and also principal dancer was Jaclyn Gailit-Lutz, instructor, accompanied by Michelle Sekunda and Kendra Billman. It was all part of a dedication of a new gazebo at the James V. Brown Library.
The celebration also was accompanied by song, an originally choreographed ballet routine by Dance Premier: Turning Pointe School of Ballet, and the reading of "The Phenomenon of Melted Love," a poem written by Dr. Norman E. Wengert, Bierman's husband.
About 140 people attended the event.
Bierman's gazebo - an ornament at the center of the room - is the final piece that completes her vision for the rotunda, a place now adorned in a garden theme reflective of the room's rich history.
The gazebo is designed to represent the motifs of the old reference room by aligning its classical swirls, loops and circles to the original architecture of the building.
"The room itself is like a cathedral of learning," Bierman said. "It shows a lot of respect for the inherited knowledge here, and there's a cultural heritage also in the beauty of the (building's) structure."
While it was installed last June, the artist - who worked with blacksmiths Joshua E. Cunningham and Andrew D. Macneal of Spring Mills on the framework - said other final details had to be worked out before its public debut.
Bierman said the room now has a "celebratory but quiet place for reflection and creativity," that she believes will carry on James V. Brown's dream.
"I'm grateful that we do have a beautiful space in Williamsport, and that I was able to be a steward of that space to carry on his (Brown's) vision," she said.
Visitors may notice the signs "respite" and "ingenuity" welded to the top of the gazebo above its passageways. The words are to represent the process that Bierman said connect the mind to inspiration.
With the resources available at the library, the artist said she hopes the library can be a source of inspiration for others.
"I don't think anywhere else, at least regionally, you're going to see something as striking," said Jeffrey Swope, assistant executive director. "It's a wonderful piece of art that complements the space. The fact that there was poetry and dance, it just brought it all together."
Swope added the room - as a conglomerative piece of art - is something that can be enjoyed publicly, and "adds something unusual in libraries" that provides an aspect "unique to the community."
Sunday's ceremony helped to "reintroduce art into the library, where, today, many are seen with computers," according to Janice Trapp, executive director.
"She (Bierman) looked at the room and the philosophy of the library and created something that will speak to the entire community," Trapp said. "I think we've been very excited over the last couple years over the new children's wing. The traditional part of the library still exists, and spirit of the library has been renovated by the changes Marguerite envisioned."