Artist's Reception for Laura Finkelstein's "New Works" Exhibit of Collages, Saturday, January 18, Noon to 2 PM, at the South End branch

Laura Finkelstein Collages at the South End Library A playful exhibit of colorful collages by Laura Finkelstein is on exhibit at the South End branch through the end of January. Trained as a painter, Finkelstein combines paints with papers, from pages to scraps, accumulated over many years. Some  come from discontinued (that is, damaged and otherwise replaced) books out of the old East Boston Meridian Library where Finkelstein's husband, Matt Krug, worked before he joined the staff at the South End branch. The works are not titled, or explained, because Finkelstein "appreciates what you see in it, your own perspective" she says. Having just purchased a new home in Hyde Park, Finkelstein found herself painting walls, and in the process re-discovered the love of the brush. She's back at doing paintings again, she said.

Since the 1970s, when the South End branch was built by the  prominent architectural firm of Mitchell/Giurgola, hundreds of South End artists  have displayed their creations at the branch. Many of these works were purchased by local collectors who have enjoyed them in their private homes. Regrettably, the exhibit space at the branch is less than it could be. Visitors have to compete for room with library users sitting at desks and tables right underneath.  Wouldn't it be nice if that could change? Half a dozen years ago, a FOSEL supporter who happened to be an architect, proposed a redesign of the building that replaced the library's walls on Tremont Street. Passers-by could see the works on display and provide local artists and the public with the showcase they deserve. Dream on?  Here's a link to re-imagining the South End branch...