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Card Catalogs Make Comeback In Peekskill

Peekskill resident Carla Rae Johnson stands in front of The Alternet, her new artwork that utilizes a card catalog. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
New Rochelle resident Michael Quituisaca's artwork is featured in the Alternet on display at the Field Library in Peekskill. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
A card catalog can even be a cake. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
Some of the work in display at the Field Library in Peekskill. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
Carla Rae Johnson said people can spend an hour just going through the card catalogs in her artwork. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
Card catalogs are all the rage in Peekskill. Photo Credit: Sam Barron

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- Card catalogs are experiencing a resurgence at the Field Library in Peekskill.

The Field Library debuted "Artists in the Archives: A Collection of Card Catalogs" on Saturday, Nov. 23, transforming the outdated way of looking for books into a work of art.

Peekskill's Carla Rae Johnson helped organize the event and her piece, The Alternet, features more than 70 artists and 1,500 works of art.

Johnson purchased a 50-drawer card catalog in 2010 and commissioned artists to provide artwork to fill the drawers. The artists responded by creating three hundred drawings, photos, collages, or writings on three inch by five inch cards.

"I like to do different projects," Johnson said. "Card catalogs are very old school. This sat in my studio for two years as I wondered how to fill the cards."

As artists agreed to participate and sent in their art, Johnson was almost overwhelmed with all the art she received but is proud of the work she put together.

Artists in the Archives will be showcased throughout the Northeast.

"This is about discovery," Johnson said. "You start browsing the catalogs and you can get sucked in. People have spent an hour looking through them."

Michael Quituisaca, a New Rochelle resident, is one of the artists featured in Johnson's catalog. A student at Westchester Community College, he responded when Johnson asked for artwork.

Quituisaca set up shop in Union Square and invited people to collaborate on his work.

"It involved people I never knew," Quituisaca said. "I got to meet a lot of great people and had a wide range of conversations."

Quituisaca said he hopes people enjoy exploring the diverse artwork in the card catalogs.

"I want them to see our work," Quituisaca said.

The exhibit will be on display in the Field Library Gallery through Jan. 31.

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