Nomination for Arezoo Moseni

Senior Librarian

The New York Public Library, Mid-Manhattan Library, The Art Collection

New York, New York

 

Ilene Sunshine

New York, NY

 

1. How long have you known the nominee and how did you come to know him or her?

I met Arezoo Moseni in 2005.  By chance, I spotted an art installation in the 5th Avenue windows of the Mid-Manhattan Library and it intrigued me.  I went upstairs to find out more about the artist (a small sign in the window had directed me there). Ms. Moseni was the librarian behind the desk on the 3rd floor and also the one who had curated the exhibition.  She was a fountain of information about the NYPL’s Art Collection and informed me about the series of exhibitions she was curating both in the windows and in the library’s Reading Room.  From that time on, I started attending her ‘Artist Dialogue’ lecture series on Monday evenings.  She notifies library patrons about up-coming events via email and has created a community of ‘regulars’ at these

inspiring programs.

 

2.  Please list a few ways in which the nominee has helped you and others and made your experience of the library a positive one.

Arezoo Moseni has provided the public with an incredible opportunity to view art in unconventional settings.  In a city like New York that is shaped by a pedestrian culture, it is thrilling to be able to ‘stumble upon’ art unexpectedly in the library’s street level windows.  In addition, her ‘Art Wall on Third’ series in the Reading Room and an evening lecture series that presents artists and other art professionals in conversation with each other are programs that significantly contribute to the cultural life of the city.  I am honored to be one of the artists presenting my work at the Mid-Manhattan library in 2008.

 

3. How has the library, and the nominee, improved the quality of your life?

The encounters I have had at the library—both via the artwork presented and during the rich discussions about the creative process (Monday ‘Artist Dialogue’ series)— have inspired my own work.  I conceived of new sculptures specifically for the library sites and I’m looking forward to my ‘Artist Dialogue’ presentation in October.   In addition, Ms. Moseni’s expertise as a librarian has enabled me to better navigate the New York Public Library system.

 

4. How does the nominee make the library a better place? Please be specific.

Libraries are repositories of information, but they are also gathering places for the community.  In the age of the internet, when people can find a great deal of information in isolation at their computers, Ms. Moseni is helping to maintain the library as a public forum for the exchange of ideas.  The audience at the lecture series is diverse and not limited to the usual ‘art world’ crowd.  People are eager to participate in this setting; it is less common than one might think to find such high quality, non-commercial (free) programs in New York City.

 

5. How has the librarian made a difference in the community?

Arezoo Moseni has made a difference in the community by bringing art and ideas to the public in a truly democratic setting.  From my experience attending the ‘Artist Dialogue’ series, a curious public audience is enthusiastic and eager for more of her thought-provoking curatorial work.  And this is in addition to her expertise as a librarian- one who answers questions and aids researchers in innumerable ways on a daily basis.  Her genuine enthusiasm for art and all creative work is deeply appreciated as it inspires people to open their minds in new directions.