Library to display original Banksy artwork

A piece of Banksy art will be on display in Kokomo, Indiana.

And Kokomo is pretty stinking lucky to snag this display of a coveted piece of art. In fact, 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.

(If you asking yourself right now “What’s a Banksy?” … click here.)

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.

It features a rat sporting a cap reminiscent of Che Guevara, the late Argentine Marxist military leader. The rat is holding a marker next to a drawn red line, and the other end of the line reads “This is Where I Draw the Line.” The piece that will be on display does not include the phrase.

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. 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 Main Branch, 220 N. Union St., Kokomo.

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