“With your feet on the ground, you’re a bird in flight! With your fist holding tight to the string of your kite!” To borrow from Mary Poppins, there’s nothing as magical as flying a kite.
The public is invited to experience the feeling of flight with a riot of vibrant and colorful kites hung from the ceiling of the lobby of Cal State Northridge’s Oviatt Library.
For the past three years, the library has celebrated the summer with a kite exhibition in its lobby. This year’s show, “Painting the Sky with Kites,” runs through Aug. 11 and explores the roles kites play across the world, including their history, the people who used them as well as how to make a kite.
“This exhibition brings together a celebration of one of the world’s most enduring inventions and pastimes—kites and kite flying,” said library supervisor Gina Hsiung, curator of the annual exhibition.
“From the Chinese Han dynasty through today’s space age, kites made of leaves, paper, silk, plastic, fabric, Mylar, bamboo and graphite have been used to catch fish, spy on enemies, send signals, divine the weather, explore the atmosphere, photograph the earth, tow boats, advertise products, act as targets for bomb drops and loft men and women into the wind,” Hsiung said. “In the last decade, the kite, the honorable ancestor of all aircraft, has painted the skies with dazzling hues, in all shapes, sizes and forms.
This year’s exhibit includes kites made by Granada Hills Brownie Troop 292 and Junior Girl Scouts Troop 1722 as well as a handcrafted 3-D Balinese clipper ship kite, a 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics Coca Cola kite, a Chinese purple and black butterfly kite, two sets of 10 mini-kite trains—one of a panda and the other of a swallow—made in Weifang, China, and fighter kites.
The exhibition is free and open to the public. For the library’s summer hours, visit its Web site at http://library.csun.edu/. The Oviatt Library is located in the center of the campus at 18111 Nordhoff St. in Northridge.