SOUTHPORT — From Oct. 19-27, Pequot Library will be hosting its annual art show. Now in its 22nd year, the juried exhibition, ART Libris: Celebrating the Inspiration and Intersection of Word and Image, aligns with the Connecticut Library’s “Art + Text” theme and will feature both emerging and prominent artists from the region. There is as a 22 Under 22 category for young artists. This year saw a record number of submissions, with entries coming from across the eastern seaboard, only 150 artists were selected to show their work. The art show is an important fundraiser in support of Library services and programs, and a special Preview Party will be held on Oct. 18 to kick off the exhibition, along with a broad range of art-infused talks, activities, and workshops for all ages.

With the leadership of Pequot’s director, Stephanie Coakley, whose background is steeped in art museum work, and Pequot Library’s advancement and community manager, Caroline Owens Crawford, who has a long and successful track record in her past career as an art dealer, the event promises to bring a rich and contemporary palate to one of Connecticut’s most revered libraries.

“The Library has always been grounded in the arts,” said Stephanie Coakley, Pequot Library’s Executive Director. “Beyond being a much needed fundraiser, our annual art show honors Virginia Marquand Monroe’s task for the library to be an accessible, cultural epicenter in our community.”

This year, Pequot Library will be leveraging local talent in style and culture to take ART Libris to a new level. Lisa Cooper, art collector and owner of Elisa Contemporary Arts, will judge the exhibition. "I have always been so drawn in by artwork incorporating letters, text and books — whether it was created with keyboard pieces, scrabble letters, junk mail, recycled newspapers or actual cut books,” Ms. Cooper said. “When the opportunity was presented to jury a show at the Pequot Library based on the intersection of text and art, I was thrilled. I am so looking forward to the creative visions of the artists."

Alongside Ms. Cooper will be artist Michelle Hermsen, who will be judging the 22 Under 22 category. Judges will select 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place awards for both categories. The first place winner of the exhibition will receive $500 and one work to be displayed at the Affordable Art Fair in NYC in the Elisa Contemporary Art Booth. The winner of the 22 Under 22 category will receive a solo exhibition at Pequot Library.

In addition to notable jurors, Pequot Library will be joined by Southport-based, full-service interior design firm, Moss Design. Owned and operated by Meghan DeMaria and Courtney Yanni, the firm will be setting up installations to help buyers conceptualize work in the home.

Finally, local artist Jen Scully, of The Studio at Mack and Ro, will be showcasing her work for the home, as well as leading a discussion about her inspiration, process, and techniques. With surf-vibe, carefree graphic designs, Ms. Scully’s works have gained rapidly increasing popularity among collectors, designers, and east coast lovers alike. “My career as an artist began in Southport nearly 5 years ago,” Ms. Scully said. “I’m thrilled to return to this community to speak about my process and inspiration, so much of which comes from the Connecticut coast.”

Pequot Library was designed and built by legendary architect Robert H. Robertson and has served as a cultural beacon in Connecticut since it opened to the public in 1894. The art show, which takes place in the Library’s historic auditorium, will showcase 150 works. The accompanying events include a ticketed Preview Party (10/18), a free yoga class with Jarosa Studio on the Great Lawn (10/19), an artist talk with Jen Scully (10/24), Sherry in the Stacks with Moss Design and art adviser Betsy Biscone (10/20), a special reception for the 22 Under 22 artists (10/23), a Pet Portrait Painting Class for kids 8+ with Priscilla Igram and Christine Orlando (10/26), an Artists and Collectors Party closing reception (10/27), and an Art Road Trip to the Museum of Modern Art in NYC (11/13).

ART Libris opens Oct. 19 and will be on display until Oct. 27. There will be a preview party with silent auction on Oct. 18 from 5:30-9 p.m., tickets start at $85. Please visit the calendar at www.pequotlibrary.org to learn more about ART Libris and all associated events. This year’s art show is sponsored by Oliver Nurseries & Design, The Russell Agency, Kasson Jewelers, Maplewood of Southport, People’s United Bank, Sturges Ridge of Fairfield, Tallman Building Company LLC, Capossela, Cohen LLC, Santa Energy, Edgewood Capital Advisors, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Perkins Fund Marketing LLC, R.C. Bigelow Tea, Real Data, Autuori Electric LLC, WSHU Public Radio, Tuck Gin, Broken Shed Vodka, Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits, Southport Galleries, and M Communications. For information: (203) 259-0346 ext. 115.