Library of the Dark Arts

Library of the Dark Arts by Paul Bielaczyc
Dark Library Art Print

Orders fulfilled by Aradani

From the Artist

This piece was another commissioned work. This building housed the Art History Department of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN when I was a student there from 1998-2002. It was a gymnasium until the late 1800’s, when it was renovated and became the home for Fine Arts. Many people see much more in this piece than a university building, from the dark exterior to the moon revealing itself behind the tower. Originally the artwork was an accurate rendition of the facade, with the inscription of “Fine Arts. 1880. The Old Gym.” across the stonework above the door. But so many customers told me that the inscription ruined the ambiance of the piece, that I changed the relief work above the door. I challenge you to translate the relief from its ruinscript.

The original was done as a gift for my father, Chris Bielaczyc, and is in his private collection.

More About The Art

Deep within the labyrinth of the academies buildings, obscured by twisting branches and thorns of overgrown trees, lies the Library of the Dark Arts. Its decrepit facade, adorned with ivy and moss, whispers tales of forgotten knowledge and forbidden magic. Legend has it that the library materializes only to those who seek its sinister secrets with a heart steeped in darkness.

The air within is heavy with the scent of decay and the soft rustle of parchment echoes through the halls, though no breeze stirs the stagnant air. Illuminated by flickering torches, shelves upon shelves of ancient tomes line the labyrinthine corridors, their leather-bound covers etched with arcane symbols that seem to writhe and twist when gazed upon too long.

Those who dare to venture into its depths are met with whispered voices that seem to emanate from the very pages of the books, beckoning them further into the abyss of knowledge. But as they delve deeper, the boundaries between reality and nightmare blur, and the very walls of the library seem to pulse with a malevolent energy.

Legends warn that those who linger too long within the Library of the Dark Arts risk losing their souls to its insatiable hunger for forbidden knowledge, becoming little more than shadows doomed to wander its halls for eternity.

About Paul Bielaczyc

Portrait of Paul Bielaczyc

I have been drawing and whatnot since as long as I can remember.  Any spot in my school notebooks that didn’t have notes were filled with sketches. I drew mostly from the D&D adventures that my brother ran, as well as the fantasy books I was reading. I did a few pieces based on Terry Brooks’ Shannara series, but focusing on being a nerd, I didn’t have much time for art in high school.


When I got to college I dual majored in Computer Science and Art History. Minoring in Studio Art, I took as many art classes as my schedule allowed. I seemed to be pursuing a career in art or art education, but decided to try graduate school in Computer Science.  Graduating in 2004 with a Master’s in CS, but again switched paths and returned to my art interests. Mike, my brother, and I co-own Aradani Studios, a costuming and art company that we founded in 2002. We travel mostly in the Southeast United States, to various conventions and Renaissance Festivals, selling our art, and our ears.


I currently call Nashville, TN my home, and don’t see that changing for quite some time. This is where my friends, my family, and my career is. When I first posted this bio, I said that, “I still have no idea what I want to do with my life.” Well, in those 4 years that I wrote that, I think I have found my calling. At the age of 26, I won the most prestigious fantasy art award there is, the Chesley Award. Mike and I have slowly but steadily grown this business into something that now employs other people! And most importantly, I love what I do, and I truly enjoy being able to talk about my art with people, and have a dialogue with them.

And I owe all of this to my brother. Without him, I don’t know where I would be today, but it wouldn’t be here. And I hope he always remembers that I am grateful to him.

See more of Paul’s Art