What does “free to the people” mean to you?
On November 5, 1895, Andrew Carnegie dedicated the Carnegie Institute and Main Branch of the Library to the people of Pittsburgh. Since that time, whatever the divide, the Library has been a bridge, helping people learn, grow, connect with others and transform their lives. This year, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is celebrating 125 years of engaging, informing and empowering individuals and communities.
To mark this important milestone, we asked four local artists—Takara Canty, Cue Perry, D.S. Kinsel and Janel Young—to interpret the phrase, Free to the People, which is carved in stone above the entrance of CLP – Main. Their inspiring responses are featured in a collection of vibrant, commemorative library cards, now available to new and existing library card holders!
Meet the Artists!
Takara Canty, of Garfield Heights, is a classically trained visual artist who grew her talent from watching her mother paint pictures in watercolor and acrylic. Inspired by her mom and prominent artists like Frida Kahlo, she evolved into having an appreciation for art and followed her passion. After realizing that working in a main-stream studio art class environment was not for her, she decided to teach at-risk kids art by providing them with nontraditional art projects in art class. She has been professionally teaching at-risk youth k-12 grade for more than 10 years. In her spare time, Canty likes to paint, tattoo, weld, sculpt, sew, draw and create memorable pieces.
Cue Perry, a Pittsburgh Northside native, has been pursuing a career in the arts his entire life. After years of studying graphic design at both Brashear High School and the University of Pittsburgh, he decided to change his major and pursue other ventures until he turned 30-years-old. He is known for his unconventional art style and humor, which is translated throughout his artwork. Perry has sold nearly 2,000 original paintings worldwide and has been nominated by Pittsburgh City Paper for best local visual artist four years in a row.
D.S. Kinsel, an award-winning entrepreneur and cultural agitator, expresses himself through many artforms. His art themes focus on space keeping, urban tradition, hip-hop, informalism and cultural re-appropriation. In addition to his art, he also co-founded BOOM Concepts, an inspirational hub devoted to the advancement of black and brown artists representing marginalized communities. Kinsel has received numerous awards, including the Pittsburgh Courier Fab 40, Pittsburgh Magazine PUMP 40 Under 40, Pgh Tech Council Creative of The Year, and the Pittsburgh Post Gazette’s “Top Ten People to Meet in 2016” and the Incline’s “Who’s Next” for 2018.
Janel Young, a Pittsburgh native, painter and muralist, is on a mission to inspire through creativity and play. Prior to pursuing art full-time, Young studied business marketing at Penn State University and relocated to New York City to work in public relations. After taking the leap to practice art full-time in NYC, Young went back to her childhood neighborhood, Beltzhoover, to install her largest led mural to date — “The Home Court Advantage Project.” The city awarded her for her community-centered efforts, making Oct. 23, 2019, “Janel Young Day” in Pittsburgh. Young’s latest public works in Pittsburgh include the reworked Black Girl Magic “Masked” series and her first curated project, “New Space Spheres.” In NYC, Young was selected to exhibit in the “Black Lives to the Front” art showcase during the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament. Most recently, in February 2021, Young became the first artist ever commissioned to design Yahoo!’s Black History Month logo.
Get Your Card!
Library cards are free to the public.
Pennsylvania residents (13 years of age and over) may opt for one of the four commemorative library cards while supplies last. Cards may be acquired in-person at any Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh location or through the Library’s curbside service. Residents 12 years of age and under must register with an adult caretaker who agrees to assume responsibility for the card.
You need a valid ID to register for a library card – acceptable forms of ID are listed here. Staff will not physically handle IDs.
If you have an existing library card (physical or online), your new card will have a different barcode number. You will be asked to turn in your old, deactivated card when you receive your new one. Changing the barcode does not alter existing account information, checkouts or balances.
Have a question?
- Call us at 412.622.3114
- Text us at 412.775.3900
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Or, chat with us using the “How can we help?” icon the lower right corner of the Library’s website