Buena Vista has one of the quaintest bookstores you can imagine: The Book Nook. It’s a venue for mostly used books, but also some new ones, plus an active book ordering service and all kinds of hand-made gifts. I like to order books from The Book Nook as much as possible. (They carry books by local authors, including my two books: I’ll Be There to Write the Story, a memoir; and What’s Left, a poetry book.) The owners, Kathy and Owen Lentz, are equally keen about arts and crafts and intelligent gifts for children. They also are fans of “folk art,” which brings us to the niche Jim and I have found to display our wall masks.
The Book Nook has recently expanded into a renovated barn behind the main store. Here’s a picture of this structure, which has some historic roots. It’s simply a matter of walking through the main store at 127 South San Juan, out the back door and across the patio. You’re in another land.
In early July, the Lentzes finished the project of emptying it out, having new drywall installed, new paint, new heating system for the winter, new book shelving and then re-filling the barn with a delicious array of books and a cozy reading area:
Jim and I were invited to display our folk art masks on two pristine white walls.
We have both been making masks for almost 30 years. Nowadays Jim is the consistent mask-maker. These pieces are made of stoneware clay and can live inside or outdoors. This one of Jim’s is a “wrap-around” mask that would be happy on a post or a tree, but can also hang on a flat wall.
My mask, “Creatrix” was inspired by my idea of a creator goddess. As she imagines each piece of creation, it comes into form out of her mind’s eye and spins into the universe — worlds, animals, and all of physical matter.
If you’re familiar with The Book Nook, be sure to visit the renovated Barn. It’s a treat. And while you’re there, check out the masks!