Curating the MacOdrum Library exhibits

Anyone who has passed through the Library is sure to have seen one of the many exhibit spaces that line the walls and dot the floors throughout the building. At any given time there can be 10 or more different exhibits underway, with new ones being added on rotation throughout the year. These exhibits are a compelling combination of visuals and information on any number of subjects to pique the interest of the many people who find themselves walking through the Library.

In addition to the many larger-scale exhibits that are often on display on the main floor, there are also plenty of pieces that commemorate seasonal changes or help present more information as part of dedicated weeks like Science Literacy Week or Open Access Week.

Cinquecento: Carleton Celebrates Leonardo da Vinci

Our current main space exhibit, “Diluvio” is part of Carleton University’s Cinquecento: Carleton Celebrates Leonardo da Vinci, a year-long celebration honouring the renaissance genius on the 500th anniversary of his death in France on May 2, 1519.

The installation is inspired by Leonardo’s reflections on the inter-connections within all of Nature as revealed by his studies of the flow of water, air, light, shadows, energy, and his evocative “deluge drawings.” The installation is the recent work by students in the Crossings Interdisciplinary Workshop, offered by Professor Manuel Báez in the Fall term of 2018 at the Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism. By working with aluminum mesh that’s been folded into a very fluidly malleable pattern, students were encouraged to experientially explore and improvise through these dynamic shape-shifting properties and their projected shadows while drawing inspiration from Leonardo’s speculations and studies. 

Since so many of these exhibits are community driven and donated, they are always on the lookout for more. If you have an idea for an exhibit you would like to contribute to in the Library, you can fill out our online Exhibits Proposal Form at