The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

Janet Kauffman to speak about altered books 2008.03.12

Written by David Green.

Why would someone make a new book out of an old one? Why would someone take it apart, cut it up, add some found objects and present it as something new?

That’s a subject that will be explored next week at Stair Public Library when retired Eastern Michigan University instructor Janet Kauffman presents a program called “Recycled/Reseen Books.”

“With Tyree Guyton coming next month, we’ll have a conversation about using material at hand—the stuff we’ve got but don’t use, the things we trash such as broken china, broken toys, stones, bones, all kinds of scraps—to re-envision our immediate world,” Kauffman said.

Since she’ll be talking at the library, she’s going to focus on books—altering, deforming and reshaping books.

“We'll see how different artists and writers have done it, and talk about why,” Kauffman said. “Why would they do that? What new books come out of the old? What books would you pick to alter or deform? What junk or debris would you add to them?”

Books can be recycled and reseen, she said, and transformed into our own statements or stories.

Stair Public Library assistant director Colleen Leddy hopes Kauffman’s talk at  7 p.m. March 20 will serve as a springboard to the creation of altered books by area residents.

“After we learned Tyree Guyton would be visiting the library as part of the Michigan Notable Books project, we were brainstorming ideas,” she said, “trying to come up with art projects the library could organize and have on display to welcome him and show we ‘get’ what he’s about.”

Since Guyton is coming to the library, someone suggested that books should be used in projects and that led to the discovery of altered books. An internet search took her to the Portland (Maine) Public Library where a massive altered books project was collected and catalogued and made ready for interloan.

“I borrowed three to give people an idea what they are like,” Leddy said. “They’ll be on display during Janet’s talk.”

Leddy wants to see community members take part in the project by making their own altered books or creating some other piece of art that exemplifies Guyton’s spirit of creating art out of found objects.

“It’s art that also has some kind of message, art that makes people think,” she said. “It’s not always pretty, but it’s pretty dang interesting.”

Anybody can participate, she said.

“People don’t necessarily have to be an artist or even artistic. They just need an idea and a way of expressing it using objects that would otherwise get thrown away or recycled.”

She thinks if people attend Kauffman’s conversation March 20, they will leave inspired to create.

After that, they’ll have about a month to complete a project for a display in late April. Guyton’s visit is scheduled May 1.

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