The Friends of the Playa Vista Library will host a reception Saturday, November 21st for artist Anne Marie Karlsen, celebrating the installation of her artwork “Flyway” — handmade-glass windows depicting a swallow and snowy egret.

The community is invited to the free event scheduled from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Playa Vista Branch Library, 6400 Playa Vista Drive.

The Playa Vista Friends Group is one of the nonprofit organizations that help raise funds to support acquisitions and programs at neighborhood Los Angeles public libraries.

The artwork was commissioned by Los Angeles Public Library as part of the “Percent for Art Program,” under the 1998 Library Bond. The Department of Cultural Affairs administers the program for the City of Los Angeles.

Installed late last month, Karlsen’s artwork includes an elongated window panel of an egret in the Children’s Storytelling area, and a larger four-pane image of a swallow in the lobby area. The birds are designed using many smaller images representing a visual history of the area from the early days of the wetlands and oil derricks, to the former Howard Hughes Airport facility and Spruce Goose runway to the area’s present incarnation as a cutting-edge eco community.

“The artwork can be read like a book,” Karlsen said. “Library visitors will be engaged in a process of exploration and discovery. What appears at first glance to look like a bird beak is in fact a silhouette of a DC-8. The eyes of the swallow are actually pelicans.

“The feather patterns on the swallow’s back are from a photograph of the interiors of the Spruce Goose,” she continued. “Views of the Ballona Wetlands are imbedded in the tail feathers. The background is a photographic map of the North American Flyway route, with a star designating the location of Playa Vista.”

Karlsen, a Southern California resident for over 25 years, was a member of the UCLA Art Department faculty for 16 years and is currently a professor of art at Santa Monica College.

Joseph Atkinson, library branch manager, said “The residents and stakeholders of the communities surrounding the Ballona Wetlands are quite proud of their new art installation at Playa Vista Branch Library.”

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