Kokomo Library to Display Original Banksy Artwork

A piece of Banksy art will be on display at the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library in downtown Kokomo from August 4 – September 15, 2017.

Library reps speculate, Kokomo just might be the first library in the world to host an actual piece of art by Banksy. Other libraries, they say, have hosted displays with posters or prints of his work, but Kokomo will have the real deal on display.

The piece is called “Haight Street Rat.” It was created in San Francisco on the side of a bed and breakfast. Art collector Brian Greif paid the building owner for the rights to tear down the wall and claim the piece.

Details on the exhibit:

The Kokomo-Howard County Public Library has planned several events related to the piece of art, starting with the unveiling from 5:30 to 9 p.m. on Aug. 4 at the main branch downtown.

During the event, children will be able to practice street art by stenciling on the library’s windows and chalking on the sidewalks. There will be a station where everyone is invited to work on a community street art project, and a “What Would The Rat Say” contest with a chance to win a basket of Bansky-related items. The library will also feature posters and prints of other Banksy works.

Then, from 2 to 4 p.m. Aug. 19 at the main branch, young adult author Shannon Lee Alexander will explain the basic terminology and techniques for getting started with street art. During the event, teens and young adults will be able to make street art they can display at the library and take home.

The piece will remain on display through September 15 at the KHCPL Main Branch, 220 N. Union St., Kokomo.

If you’re not a lover of the arts, you might be asking yourself, “What’s a Banksy?” Well, for starters. Banksy is a who — although it’s an unknown who. Even after more than 20 years on the street art scene, the identity of the artist remains under wraps. He’s not granted a face-to-face interview since 2003 and has been known to hide his face under a paper bag when necessary. Though his identity isn’t known, his artwork has quite a following. Some have even dubbed it an art subculture surrounding his work.

For more information, visit www.VisitKokomo.org.