DRUMMER FEATURE APRIL 23, 2017
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Beauty and books at Buffalo Library
Beyond the abundance of books to read on the shelves at the Buffalo Public Library, the large windows facing Buffalo Lake offer another reason to visit the light brown brick building located just south of the Wright County Government Center. Generous donations of both time and money have enhanced the library with beautiful stained glass artistry.
As the sun travels across the southern sky, the colorful images of the windows shine brilliantly, displaying flowers, rural scenery and some farm animals. One of the more recent additions to the series of stained glass windows was created by Jeff Barber of Montrose in memory of Merle Lane. Barber now lives on Lane’s Montrose-area farm, and the images in the window are representative of the farm.
The center window features a large Tree of Knowledge piece created by longtime former Buffalo resident Suzanne Henk. She worked with her daughter, Hillary, on several stained glass windows in the library. Interestingly, each window includes water imagery, which forms a connection from one window to the next.
The most recent stained glass window addition was created in memory of Mary Wherry, who was a librarian 21 years at the Buffalo Library. She passed away in May 2016. The new stained glass window honoring her was placed by the Friends of the Buffalo Library. Amy Wittmann, branch manager at the Buffalo Library, said Mary liked gardens and pink flamingos, which are featured in the window that honors her memory.
Another window with a flower garden scene was donated by Judy Sandeen in memory of her mother, Beulah Sandeen.
In memory of a loved one
Over on the other side of the Tree of Knowledge is a window with a wood duck on a pond. This window was donated by David and Margaret Randel in memory of their son, Patrick. Margaret told Suzanne Henk that Patrick loved nature and water, and this information served as inspiration for the window.
Likewise, Henk was told by Sandeen that her mother loved gardens, flowers and reading.
The Henk family donated the center panels with the Tree of Knowledge.
Reading room donations
Other art pieces can be found in a reading room near the western library entrance. A leather chair was donated by Judge Dale Mossey when he retired in 2011. The chair had been in his office at the courthouse.
A Seasons of Buffalo Lake artwork on the wall next to the window was donated by local artist Howard Burgdorf. When the seasons change, a panel showing the current season is moved to the left side of the display (closest to the window). Mark Johanson, a local resident, built the frame and hung the panels.
Jim Anderson, another local artist and woodworker, donated a clock for the room.
The library has many items that were donated to help enhance building.
“We encourage it if people want to donate more art. We have more windows,” Wittmann said.
For more stained glass projects, she said work by Henk and Barber would be preferred for the sake of consistency and matching the existing style. She has contact information for both Henk and Barber if someone would like to commission a piece.
Wittmann mentioned that Setterberg Jewelers made the brass plates that provide information under each stained glass window.
“The first three stained glass windows were donated in 2006,” Wittmann said.
A few more have been added more recently.
Visit the library
So, even if you don’t need a book to read, stop at the Buffalo Library some day and have a look at the art that decorates the place. Beyond the rows of bookshelves, the large windows facing Buffalo Lake offer another reason to visit the light brown brick building just south of the courthouse.
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