Explore the depths of BLUE

Dec 10, 2021 – Feb 27, 2022

Explore the depths of the color Blue with the Alice C. Sabatini Gallery! From a light robin’s egg blue to the rich “new blue,” you will discover how blue is made and how it’s seen.

This exhibit highlights the library’s art collection of paintings, ceramics, photographs, glass, artists books and fabric.

Join our BLUE odyssey and find out how many different hues of blue you can see.

Exhibition Images


BLUE Soundtrack

Want to enjoy the exciting mix of “blue” themed music playing in the gallery after your visit? Click here for our Spotify playlist

BLUE Mixology

Bars and Restaurants in NOTO and Downtown Topeka made signature drinks to coincide with the Blue exhibit.


Related Events

Gallery staff are continuing to plan events related to the exhibit. Watch for more events including make and take art projects. Also watch the library’s Facebook and YouTube pages for videos of local bartenders making their signature blue drinks to support the exhibit. A new mixology video will be released each week starting Dec 10. Be on the lookout for more fun ways to be involved in BLUE.

Jewelrymaking Demonstration with Matt Filby | Sat, Jan 8 | 2-3pm | Reed Studio

Matt Filby will demonstrate his wire wrapping techniques to make beautiful wearable art. He will bring samples of blue gems and minerals from his own collection, and talk about stones and their different effects.


Adventures with the new YInMn Blue | Sat, Jan 22 | noon-2pm | Learning Center

Artist Louis Copt will demonstrate his watercolor technique using the new YinMn blue. Louis will also discuss his painting methods and share insights about brushes and paper along with tips and tricks to improve your watercolor painting. Whether you’re an artist or not, you’ll enjoy this fun and entertaining demonstration.

YInMn Blue, also known as Oregon Blue or Mas Blue, is an inorganic blue pigment that was discovered accidentally by Professor Mas Subramanian and his graduate student, Andrew E. Smith, at Oregon State University in 2009.

Blue – from Antiquity to the Middle Ages | Thu, Jan 27 | 7-8pm | Learning Center

Explore the history of the color blue from Antiquity through the Medieval period to the early Industrial Revolution. Dr. Anthony Silvestri, from Washburn University’s History Department, will provide samples of various historic blues commonly used, discuss the development of the color and its meaning, and the roles of Nature and Alchemy in creating artist’s colors.


BLUE: Prairie Inspiration – Explore blue in natural landscapes | Thu, Feb 3 | 7-8pm | Reed Studio

Explore the rare and not-so-rare occurrences of the color blue in our native prairie ecosystems and the beautiful inspiration they provide. Presentation by Patti Ragsdale of Happy Apples Farm


First Friday: BLUE | Fri, Feb 4 | 5 – 9pm | Alice C. Sabatini Gallery

Explore the depths of the color blue in this exhibit of artwork from the library’s collection. We’ll have some special fun for each First Friday evening.


Blue Glassblowing | Thu, Feb 17 | 7-8pm | Reed Studio

Discover where glassblowing originated, how blue glass was first made and how it’s made now. Local glassblower April Lemon from More Than Lemons Hot House in Holton will be our guide.

Blue Ceramic Glazes with Monette Mark | Sat, Feb 19 | 1-2pm | Reed Studio

Blue is one of the three primary colors. Humans started developing blue colorants about 5,000 years ago from the semi-precious stone Lapis Lazuli, a deep-blue metamorphic rock. Lapis colorants are fabulous as pigments but could not be used in glazes because of their low resistance to heat. Cobalt is the impressive oxide that has been used in glazes throughout the years. Come with me on a journey to discover the history and psychology of blue in our everyday lives.



Make & Take Art in Reed Studio

Blue wreaths
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Blue Birds
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Blue on Orange Collage
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Blue Woven Circle
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Check back for details on upcoming art projects.


Blue Booklist

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Hello, I'm your friendly neighborhood Curator of Exhibitions. I have the amazing job of creating, building and presenting wonderful art exhibits for you at the library's Alice C. Sabatini Art Gallery.