Farmers Branch

Mural at Farmers Branch Library Features 7,000 Books, Emphasizes Recycling

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A one-of-a-kind work of art at the Farmers Branch Manske Library features a three-story mural painted on books.

According to officials with the City of Farmers Branch, the City has hired California artist Mike Stilkey to paint one of his whimsical murals inside the Manske Library.

Stilkey got his start in Texas when he painted his first book mural with about 5,000 books at Rice University in Houston in 2007.

The mural in Houston went viral, and now Stilkey created painted book murals around the world.

Stilkey said he used discarded books from dumpsters and other places for his projects.

"Books are dying," Stilkey told the Los Angeles Times. "There are so many that go to the garbage. It's crazy. If I can paint on them, I'm giving them a second chance."

Library officials said they spent the months collecting 10,000 books for this project, and the work to create the mural is already underway.

Stilkey's mural, which features 7,000 books, is part of a movement to reinvent the public library as a town center of art, technology and interactive learning, library officials said.

"I think everybody relates to a book if you're 5-years-old or if you're 90-years-old," Stilkey said. "You know, everybody has a strong connection to the book. So I think it it really lends itself to public spaces."

The Farmers Branch Manske Library will also install a bee hive with 5,000 bees behind a plexiglass wall as well as a a maker space with 3D printers.

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