Although the books and bookshelves were organized neatly and that new-building smell permeated throughout the halls at 10 N. Main St., in Coalville, the walls looked a little bare.
So, after meeting with Dan Compton, director of Summit County Libraries, the Summit County Public Arts Advisory Board put sent out a request for proposals and did a national search last spring for art that would be permanently displayed at the library.
"Dan was very interested in acquiring some art," said Stephanie Donovan with the Summit County Public Arts Advisory Board. "And there were several places in the building where the art could be displayed. So, depending on what the artist wanted to do, the art could fill all the spaces or just part them."
The responses flooded in, she said.
"We received proposals from artists all around the country, and in a meeting with the librarians and the art advisory board, we selected Daniel E. Borup a high school art teacher from Shelley, Idaho."
The advisory board liked Borup's proposal of a silver splash splattered across the wall, because it felt modern, Donovan said.
"We felt it would appeal to teens and decided to display it in the library's Teen Corner," she said. "We liked the fact that it was inspired by his students and that is was a reflective piece. The work has a good sense of excitement, humor and reflection."
Borup, who was in Coalville to set up the plastic sculpture on Wednesday, said he came up with the idea after learning about the different spaces the library set aside for the art.
"I noticed the Teen Corner was open," Borup said during an interview with The Park Record. "I work with teens and care a lot about them and wanted to come up with a sculpture for that corner."
The artist created a splash that features a large reflective surface like a mirror.
"The idea is that teens can look into the ball and see themselves reflected with their surroundings," Borup said. "Teens are at the time of their lives when they are trying to figure out who they are and what kind of people they want to be the rest of their lives. I wanted to make something that would help them reflect on that."
Since Borup knew some teens who come to the library won't do a lot of reflecting, he also wanted to make something that just looked cool.
"With my experience as a high school art teacher, I found a lot of teens aren't into the classic art, but more into the abstract," he said. "For some reason, they are more attracted to that look. So, the whole work is made from plastic with a silver finish, and there is some metal in it as well."
Borup, who loves art because it has helped him see beauty where others can't, started sculpting the splash over the summer.
"I used wadded paper and duct tape and put plaster all over it and sanded it to smooth it out," he said. "That was the sacrificial, reverse mold, because I coated it with silicone and then poured plastic over that."
When the plastic hardened, he tore out the paper and plaster.
"I then sprayed it with mirror paint and added some fiberglass to strengthen it," he said.
The sculptor is excited to have one of his pieces displayed at the library.
"I'm always looking for commissions and while I've done some smaller commissions, I'm trying to do some bigger ones," he said. "With this opportunity, I was able to do something a little bigger, but it was still a fairly small commission compared to a lot of others out there. My goal is to display my art and Coalville seemed like a great place. The town has a lot of art and I'm proud to be considered to be part of that collection."