In 2003, a whimsical cloth dragon was installed at the Samson-Dimond Library in the Dimond Mall, a gift of Wendy Withrow whose daughter, Jessie, was killed by a drunken driver in 2000. Jesse had loved the library and, in particular, fantasy books.

The branch library closed down in December of 2010, but the dragon was relocated to the Chugiak-Eagle River Library. The move was "fortuitous for a piece of public art," said Amy Meissner, the artist who created the work. "Many such moves are straight into storage."

It was also a good move in that the Eagle River branch was "low on interior art when it was dedicated in 2009," Meissner said. And the new space was much larger than the original location.

Maybe a little too large. Meissner proposed changing the design to better fit the space two years ago. The "unfurling" of the work, to use her word, will double the length of the original 15 foot long, three panel design by using textile-based community art for an additional three panels that will be used to expand the original design.

Meissner calls the new work "Sky Full of Stars" and is seeking volunteers so help with the project. She will lead workshops from 3-5 p.m. on Oct. 1, 8 and 22 at the library. All ages are welcome to participate. Just show up.

The refurbished dragon will be put in place in December.

Wendy Withrow commissioned the dragon art work in the Samson-Dimond library new computer center in memory of her daughter Jessie Withrow, who was killed by a drunk driver. Amy Meissner made the dragon hanging that separates the computer area from the story telling area. (Bob Hallinen/ADN archive)
Wendy Withrow commissioned the dragon art work in the Samson-Dimond library new computer center in memory of her daughter Jessie Withrow, who was killed by a drunk driver. Amy Meissner made the dragon hanging that separates the computer area from the story telling area. (Bob Hallinen/ADN archive)