"Brainstorm" is a 1,100 square foot painted mural in Manitowoc Public Library's Youth Department Rotunda on the second floor. Created by the community under the direction of noted Wisconsin mural artist Caryl Yasko, this fitting work of art signifies a search for knowledge and wisdom. This image represents a troubled explorer overcoming his difficulties and celebrating finding his treasure. The mural was dedicated January 16, 2003.
"Brainstorm" by Caryl Yasko
Our story begins with a brainstorm. It is the brainstorm of the Cosmic Weaver, weaving ribbons of a story from the strands of our spiral galaxy.
The joyous Celestial Dancer picked up those ribbons and tossed them out over the heavenly waves. She caught a Tale Boat in which a mother was reading to her child. The Celestial Dancer pulled the little boat along, carefully between the buoys and over the waves, on a venture fueled by imagination. It is an adventure in the Library, a journey toward wisdom.
The fleet of little boats was captained by the Explorer, who was guided by the North Star. He looked out over the Milky Way (note the cows), and beyond the Northern Lights. He dreams. He explores. And he continues on his journey.
Along the way he meets the Jester, the gargoyle of the Lake, who plays tricks on the voyagers. We see a little girl, perched on a richly jeweled Lio-Phant, pointing to what lies ahead. But wait! In the stars we see her reflection, pointing us back from where we came. Which way shall we go? Our Explorer, however, will not be fooled, and presses on, though trouble lies ahead.
The little puppet in a bathtub*, our seafarer, is troubled with doubt and dismay; his creativity is blocked. With the help of our Weaver's ribbons, he surmounts his difficulties and sails over the wave** and into the light, in spite of the storm and the lightning conjured up by the Manito-witch gargoyle.
Our seafarer is triumphant. He's on top of the world, dancing on the planets, because he's well on his way to wisdom! Supported by the community, encouraged to discover, he stores his knowledge in his piggy bank, and tosses it over the moon to his friend, who's jumping for joy because he knows that with the knowledge to be found at Manitowoc Public Library, we can go everywhere!
And so the cycle of knowledge is complete -- and it begins again.
*Yes, someone sailed a bathtub to Manitowoc from Ludington - on a $5 bet!
**The wave, influenced by the Japanese artist Hokusai, is a tribute to our Sister City, Kamogawa, in Chiba Prefecture, Japan.