Tracy Ihnot, the community outreach director for the Delta County Libraries, presented the fruits of a six-month project to an audience of about 15 at the Hotchkiss library June 10. The topic of the library's outreach for the summer focuses on outer space and all that it encompasses. While scientific breakthroughs uncover more and more of that vast topic, as much seems inscrutable to the layperson.
Ihnot in her project brought the topic down to a personal level. She presented slides that evoke the scientific images of space that come to us via breakthrough technology. She did so by combining ingredients easily found in anyone's home: water, oil, spices, and colorants. By combining these homely materials Ihnot created small galaxies of color and form. She photographed these substance sculptures and took the project a step further by accompanying the slides with poems. The ensuing booklet, "Heliocentricity," and the presentation of her labors, showed the creative potential of this, or any, topic.
After presenting her slides and poems, Ihnot treated the audience to a fact-based description of black holes. She then offered the participants the opportunity to free-write in response to all of the above. Members of her audience responded with their on-the-fly impressions and the results were thoughtful and personal.