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Artwork copyright Billy Van Court. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Green Hill School Collection in Chehalis

In the fall of 2022, Media Specialist Julie Forbes worked with ArtsWA's Art in Public Places team to select these artworks for the Green Hill School Library. We are excited that these artworks have found a new home where they are meaningful!

“Bringing art into our library has been a passion of mine for many years. I am so grateful to ArtsWA for providing this collection. Running a library in a juvenile rehabilitation facility means creating and curating a collection of literature that reflects, educates, inspires, and soothes. The part that was missing was art. The artworks chosen for our library complement our literary collection, along with the added benefit of creating a visually stimulating and inviting atmosphere.

Having artists that share ethnicity with our residents has had a significant impact. Janet Taylor Pickett’s ‘Where the Muses Dwell’ combines mythical and art historical references creating a spiritual look at who our African Americans’ ancestors may be. Billy Van Court is a Native American who is serving a life sentence and found his passion for painting while incarcerated. His art piece ‘Proud Bear’ impresses with a painted moose antler depicting two realistic bears and a Coastal Indigenous inspired bear. It celebrates Indigenous people and the conservation of nature. Mauricio Robalino is from South America and his ‘El Arbol’ with its mythical and imaginary figures fits in beautifully with our fantasy book section. Inspired by childhood recollections this piece visualizes a rich, vibrant culture.

Each artwork chosen ties in with themes in our literary collection, speaks to individuals whether thru its artistic expression or ethnic background, and creates a space that feels creative, rich, and warm. Engaging and empowering, this collection speaks to emotional intelligence, the strength of diversity, and the value of our residents.”

–Julie Forbes, Media Specialist at Green Hill School located in Chehalis, Lewis County, Western Washington.