The Forsyth County Public Library’s North Carolina Collection welcomed a new staff member in October. Cade Carlson is the new photograph collection librarian in charge of caring for the library’s extensive photograph collections and responding to Digital Forsyth requests. Cade graduated from the UNC School of Information and Library Science where his focus was on archives and records management. He brings a range of experience with him to his new library role, having worked as a retail manager, bookstore staff, and a library clerk. He is also a self-trained collage and spray paint artist. We are happy to welcome him to the team!
Q & A with Cade
1. What made you want to work with library special collections?
A couple of factors drove my interest in working with such a collection: previous professional experience working with implementing physical organization systems (creating and implementing a book and media department for the creative reuse thrift store, the Scrap Exchange), having my passion for archives awakened early in my time as a graduate student at UNC’s SILS, and my time as a field experience volunteer at the North Carolina Collection at Durham’s Central Library. Each of these contributed to my intent to be able to work with elevating such collections and providing avenues for accessing them.
2. What types of Images does the Forsyth County Public Library ("the Library") photograph collection contain?
The Library’s photograph collection contains a vast cornucopia of historic and contemporary images that together produce a highly contextual gestalt of the history of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County. A large bulk of the collection are images that were captured by former photographers for the Winston Salem Journal and Twin City Sentinel as well as a large swath of portrait studio images depicting residents of Winston-Salem (and that’s only scratching the surface of what is on hand!). The collection is always growing through donations, where it continues to evolve and paint an even more vivid picture of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County.
3. How can customers access the photograph collection?
Much of the collection is available for public viewing via the Digital Forsyth website. The website enables patrons to search for images through keyword/subject searching. Relevant images can be viewed with extensive descriptive information (metadata) being present for further contextual elucidation on the nature of the images. Patrons can request high resolution digital prints for a fee via this website as well (look for the “Want a print of this photograph?” link on a respective image’s page). The watermarked images on Digital Forsyth are free to use as well, so long as they are remarked as “Courtesy of Forsyth County Public Library.” For special requests regarding viewing images in person, or for patrons seeking images that may not be present on the Digital Forsyth website, we welcome you to contact us to arrange for such a session.
4. How did you become an artist?
I attended Durham School of the Arts for high school, where I was able to take classes related to classical guitar, piano, and photography. Once I started attending college, I made a series of creative pivots and experienced numerous “happy accidents” that reallocated my artistic pursuits towards working with collage and spray paint as my primary mediums. After graduating from undergrad, I co-founded the Durty Durham Artist Cooperative with many DSA alumni, where we aimed to create opportunities/spaces for young artists to be able to show/perform their artistic endeavors. Being a part of this collective further entrenched my pursuit of personal artistic growth to the point where it’s hard to imagine not continuing to create and evolve through my artistic output.
5. How does a collage and spray paint artist make art?
My workflows involve creating narratives through the selection/arrangement of the volumes of carefully cut-out images from any analog/physical source of interest that I can get my hands on. The spray paint aspect serves as the backdrop to these narratives, where the use of color and constant experimentation (the gross majority of my spray paint work involves how it interacts with the direct introduction of water to the panel/board) aims to be in service of the narratives, with the hope of being able to marry the two mediums through the use of dream logic, magical realism, and colors selection. My work can be viewed on my portfolio website, Spraygaze; you can also follow me on my Instagram account.