Read Them Like A Book

Title:  Read Them Like A Book
Artist:  James Jenkins
Medium:  Sculpture – Stainless Steel
Dimensions:  10′ H
Location:  St. Charles Public Library, 1 South 6th Avenue
Owner:  St. Charles Public Library
Map Locator Number: #10

Imagine two polished stainless steel human-shaped figures; side by side, faces turned skyward.

The figures stand upon a pedestal rising approximately 24” above grade. Combining the figure height of approximately 10 feet with that of the pedestal, the overall height will be nearly 12 feet.

The Sun and the Moon shine reflectively off the surfaces suggesting one form of enlightenment or illumination.

The figures; as viewed from directly in front of the new St. Charles Public Library sign, appear as two parallel lines in the landscape. As the viewer moves around the library grounds, the parallel lines are revealed to be human shapes with words, numbers and symbols cut out from the interior sections of the figures. The interplay between the various cut out shapes, the ever-changing surroundings; owing in large part to seasonal variations, will provide the viewer a new perspective and viewpoint each time the figures are encountered.



The words are in several languages and character fonts. In translation, the various languages provide further insight into the extended metaphor of enlightenment. There may also be for the viewer some humor available either thinly veiled, disguised or nearly impossible to avoid.

Placement of the piece within the Euonymus helps to minimize the possibility of children climbing upon the sculpture. Given the pedestal height and figure height they will not be anonymous in the Euonymus.


Read Them Like A Book is featured on the Art Tour.  Download the Otocast app on your electronic device to hear the artist’s story.



Photographs for the SCAC by Claudia Frost