Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November-December Art Gallery Exhibit Announced by Smyrna Public Library

Art by Whitefield Academy on display through December.

The art pieces on display were created by Middle School and Upper School students at Whitefield Academy, a Christ-centered college preparatory school serving more than 650 students in PreK-4 through grade 12. Whitefield Academy is located on a 75-acre campus in the Smyrna/Vinings area of northwest Atlanta.

The Whitefield arts program encourages the exploration of artistic talents in a supportive and enjoyable environment -- recognizing God as the giver of these talents. The purpose of the Whitefield fine arts program is to allow student self-expression, as well as to inspire students to create sincere and significant work. Whitefield Academy believes that art enables students to reach their community as no other vehicle. Through visual art, dance, music, singing, and drama, students may communicate in a manner that transcends cultural, social and economic boundaries, and speaks to the heart of man

November-December Display Gallery Exhibit Announced by Smyrna Public Library

Santa Collection by Barbara Robertson on display through December.


Barbara has always been drawn to Santa's. When I was a baby, my parents purchased one of the Santa's with the Coke bottle from Rich's. I loved it, so I guess that started it!

The ones on display represent different parts of my collection - some are considered collectibles (the Clothtique ones) and others are from different parts of the country that I've collected when I travel. I have numerous Santa tree ornaments and artwork as well.

I have collected the Santas for more than 20 years. I love the traditional ones the best and the #1 requirement is thatthey have a kind face! I look for additions when I travel and at all stores. Some have been gifts. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fall Reading List & Featured Book

Fall 2011 Featured Book

by David Almond

Fall 2011 Reading List

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
Back of Beyond by C.J.Box
City of Thieves by David Benioff
Coming Up For Air by Patti Callahan Henry
Fay by Larry Brown
Flash and Bones by Kathy Reichs
Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close
Happy Birthday by Danielle Steel
Life is Short, but Wide by J. California Cooper
Moscow, December 25, 1991 by Conor O'Clery
P is for Peril by Sue Grafton
Portrait of a Spy by Daniel Silva
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
Skellig by David Almond
Smokin' Seventeen by Janet Evanovich
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
Summer Sisters by Judy Blume
The Foreigners by Maxine Swann
The Lives of Rocks by Rick Bass
Through My Eyes by Tim Tebow


Thursday, September 1, 2011

September-October Art Gallery Exhibit Announced by Smyrna Public Library

Smyrna Scenes by Debra Cook on display through October.


I am an observant human being. I find delight in the small moments of life - when the light dances from a surface or the shadows make an interesting shape on a structure. Nature holds boundless interests as does the “common and ordinary.” My favorite medium is pastel and my favorite genre is historical fiction. When I can paint and combine the two, it can be magical for me! I am pleased and proud to paint landscapes and cityscapes that capture our heritage as southerners.

Smyrna Sanity Series

I love living in Smyrna! It is the best of both worlds. Smyrna is near the “big city” and yet maintains a small town feel. I have chosen to paint some of my favorite places and I have chosen to paint them in an energetic style. Having visited Smyrna all my life and having lived here now for over 25 years, I have seen many changes. I hope you enjoy my attempt at capturing Smyrna “then and now.” This body of work is dedicated to my husband, Jim, whose support seems endless.

Deb Cook has studied pastels for 5 years. Studying steadily with artists Marsha Savage and Karen Margulis, Deb enjoys painting plein air (outdoor air and light) and participating in various workshops. Deb also belongs to an artist group known as the Art Spirits who have traveled around the south and to Wyoming on painting expeditions. In 2010, Deb opened a gallery in Nest Home and Garden with fellow artists Paula Landry and Barbara Kincaid, the gallery is formally known as The Drawing Room. Deb is a member of the Southeastern Pastel Society and teaches young artists at Pace Academy. Her work is owned by many local residents and businesses in the state, hangs in the youth building at Smyrna First United Methodist Church and in Pace Academy. An Atlanta native, Deb has lived in Smyrna, GA for 25 years where she and her husband, Jim, have raised their three children. Deb is currently the Learning Specialist at Pace Academy where she has taught for over 30 years.

September-October Display Gallery Exhibit Announced by Smyrna Public Library

Smyrna Public Library 75th Anniversary by Bill Marchione on display through October.


Dr. William Marchione and his wife Mary Ann moved to Smyrna from Boston, Massachusetts in 2009. Bill is a retired history professor, a former member of the Boston Landmarks Commission, and the author of six books and countless articles on aspects of Boston and New England History. He also played a major role in the establishment of two Boston area museums.

Since settling in Smyrna, Bill has been actively engaged in researching Smyrna history and is currently serving as Chair of the Williams Park Local History Committee and of the Smyrna Historical & Genealogical Society's Program Committee.

This exhibit on the history of the Smyrna Public Library traces the chronology of the library from its inception in 1936 to the present day. Many of the items displayed in the exhibit are on loan from the Smyrna Historical Museum. In putting this exhibit together, Bill was ably assisted by Smyrna historical Society President Harold Smith, and long-time FOSL President Lillie Wood.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Smyrna Public Library to Celebrate 75th Anniversary

Smyrna, Ga. - (August 15, 2011) - On September 17, 2011, the Smyrna Public Library will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the founding of the library. The celebration will be held at Brawner Hall, located at 3180 Atlanta Road, SE, from 1:00 – 4:00 PM, and is being coordinated by the Friends of Smyrna Library (FOSL).

Anniversary festivities will include music by local keyboardist and vocalist, Benny Boynton. Benny Boynton is a seasoned pianist and vocalist who has performed with Toby Keith, Travis Tritt, Lonestar, Charlie Daniels, The Marshall Tucker Band, Percy Sledge, Chubby Checker, and more.

At 3:00 PM, Feriel Feldman and B.J. Abraham of the "Southern Order of Storytellers" will tell Carmen Agra Deedy's "The Library Dragon" followed by some additional stories.

B.J. Abraham has been a storyteller and member of the National Storytelling Association and a charter member of Southern Order of Storytellers (SOS) since 1983. She tells to children and adults, specializing in various dialects and character voices. Feriel Feldman is past president of Southern Order of Storytellers. She is a director, actor, storyteller, and has worked with teenage storytelling troupes for the last 20 years.

During the event, current library director, Michael Siegler, will give a brief talk on the history and highlights of the library.

Additionally, there will be children’s games from the 1930s, videotaped interviews with library patrons reliving memories of visiting the library as children, and historic exhibits.

Refreshments and door prizes will also be provided. This FREE event promises to be fun for the entire family!

The first Smyrna Public Library opened its doors in September 1936 by the Smyrna Women's Club - with which it shared space. The initial collection consisted of 50 books on one shelf. Boy Scouts and other children went door-to-door with wagons and wheelbarrows collecting donated books to stock the shelves after it opened.

A new 4000 square foot library building was constructed during the first term of Mayor George Kreeger (1960-1961) for a cost of $54,000. Additions were made in 1969 and 1973.

The current 28,000 square foot library facility, located at 100 Village Green Circle, was dedicated in 1991 and houses a collection of over 100,000 books and audio-visual materials.

About The Friends of Smyrna Library

The Friends of Smyrna Library (FOSL) is an independent, non-profit, volunteer organization that supports the Smyrna Public Library through fundraising events and volunteer activities. FOSL is a member of the Friends of Libraries USA organization and is one of the most active Friends chapters in Georgia. Notable programs FOSL supports are the library’s Art Gallery, the “Murder Goes South” Festival of readers and writers, “The Link” newsletter and much more. Join FOSL for only $5 for an individual membership or $10 for a family membership and make a friend today. For more information, visit http://www.friendsofsmyrnalibrary.org/.


If you would like more information on this event, visit the FOSL website, or contact Dorothy Sibert, dsibert_30082@yahoo.com.

PRESS CONTACT: Michelle Sisco, 678/613-9852


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Annual Frozen Yogurt Social & Book Sale Concludes

The Frozen Yogurt Social and Book Sale was held today at the Smyrna Public Library. The annual event was a HUGE success. Over 250 attendees enjoyed music by Peter Vogl and delicious servings of Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt, which were donated by Pinkberry at Akers Mill Square.  This year’s book sale set a new sales record.

Our next book sale will be at the Fall Jonquil Festival in October.

Friday, July 1, 2011

July-August Art Gallery Exhibits Announced by Smyrna Library

Photographs by Karen Johnson on display through August.

Karen Johnson Bio

I am a Medical Techologist and amateur hotographer. The photography bug didn't really hit me until I moved from my home, just outside of Baltimore, Maryland, to Nashville, Tennessee. I explored all of the nearby parks as well as part of the Natchez Trace and took pictures to show friends and relatives the natural beauty of the area. After 5 years there, I moved to Temple, Texas and joined a Photography Club to learn more about the art. Again, I visited as many parks as I could, documenting my explorations with photographs. In 1996, I moved to Smyrna, Georgia and continued my park explorations as well the Atlanta Botanical Garden. At work, we would have craft fairs and I discovered that others liked my pictures well enough to purchase them as enlargements or as note cards. My favorite subjects are reflections in water and flowers as I enjoy the extraordinary beauty and color of nature and photography enables me to share it with others.


July-August Display Gallery Exhibit Announced by Smyrna Library

Handmade Books by Ruth Kramedjian on display through August.

Ruth is a graduate of the University of Georgia with degrees in drawing and painting and art history. She has worked with fabric, designing and making original quilts; she has worked in metal, designing jewelry in silver and gold; her photographic work concentrated on black and white infrared as well as large color landscape prints. In recent years she has returned to abstract painting and the art of collage or mixed media.
In the current work, she has moved to a more intimate output with the art of the handmade book. She incorporates her own art forms and collage in the books that she makes. She is exploring not only book forms, but also the art of handmade paper.

In her artist’s statement, Ruth says:

Rhythmic cycles chart the course of our days. Both mundane and magnificent, they present themselves in the powerful circle of community life, the changing of the seasons, the movement from dawn to dusk and back again to light. Ethereal, concrete, and universal, they frame our lives and they give direction to my spiritual quest to find meaning in my world through art making. The grid and its counterpart, the circle, often serve as a frame for these cycles, and my emotional response to the inherent rhythms finds expression in my mark making. The short view, the long view, the universal view – from these, I examine my world.

Ruth can be contacted at 404.210.9790 or rrpk2@yahoo.com.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friends of Smyrna Library to Host Free “Frozen Yogurt Social & Book Sale”

Smyrna, Ga. - (June 10, 2011) – Friends of Smyrna Library (FOSL) announces their free summer event, “Frozen Yogurt Social and Book Sale,” taking place Sunday, July 10, 2011 from 3-5 p.m. inside the Smyrna Library. This special event will feature free frozen yogurt from Pinkberry, family-friendly entertainment by Peter Vogl and a book sale with incredible bargains. As with any FOSL event, all proceeds from the book sale will go to the award-winning Smyrna Library for technology, books, art, reading programs, and much more.

“The Friends appreciate the donations, volunteer hours, and more that the Smyrna community has given to the library and are sponsoring this event as a thank you to the community for its support."

"This year is a special year at the Smyrna Library - our 75th anniversary. We will be celebrating all summer and fall with fun events for the whole family and a big party in September. Check our website for more information (http://www.friendsofsmyrnalibrary.org/)," says Dorothy Sibert, President of the Friends of Smyrna Library. "The Friends appreciate the donations, volunteer hours, and more that the Smyrna community has given to the library and are sponsoring this event as a thank you to the community for its support."

FOSL is really looking forward to this year's event as once again the world-famous Pinkberry is donating the frozen yogurt, which will be free to everyone who attends (or while it lasts!) . Pinkberry opened its first Atlanta-based store last June in the Akers Mill Shopping Center on Cobb Parkway. Attendees are invited to come out and taste their “swirly goodness.”

FOSL is also honored to have the talented Peter Vogl perform live at the event again this year. Vogl is a guitarist, session player, and instructor who has performed on stage with Michael Bolton, James Brown, Bo Diddley, Francine Reed and many other famous musicians. Vogl currently performs around Atlanta with several local bands including The Blue Rhythm Band and Jan Smith. Not only is the entertainment free, but we're sure you will become a new fan of Vogl's music, if you're not already!

FOSL's Board of Director member Jeff Jones will be heading up the book sale and is sure to offer prices that can't be beat. It will feature a carefully vetted selection for of New York Times bestsellers and gift quality books priced at just $1 and $3. This year's "Frozen Yogurt and Book Sale" is going to be an event you don't want to miss! Bring your family to the Smyrna Library for an afternoon of fun. The Smyrna Library is located at 100 Village Green Circle, Smyrna, Georgia 30080.

About Peter Vogl

Peter Vogl started playing guitar in second grade and quickly realized his calling. He played in many bands throughout high school and proceeded to study classical guitar at the University of Georgia under the tutelage of John Sutherland. In collaboration with the NARAS organization Peter is the band leader each year at the Heroes Award Dinner in Atlanta. Visit his website at http://www.petervogl.com/.

About Pinkberry

Pinkberry reinvented the frozen yogurt category when it launched in West Hollywood, Ca. in January 2005. Today it is the most talked about, best tasting, premium frozen yogurt, made with high-quality fresh ingredients. From store design to exceptional customer service to our irresistible flavors and toppings, Pinkberry provides a social experience that indulges the senses. Pinkberry’s distinctive flavors are expertly crafted to complement its daily fresh-cut fruit and premium toppings that offer an irresistibly tangy, incomparable refreshing taste. Pinkberry is certified by the National Yogurt Association and carries the Live & Active Cultures Seal. Get a taste of Swirly Goodness by visiting


About The Friends of Smyrna Library

The Friends of Smyrna Library (FOSL) is an independent, non-profit, volunteer organization that supports the Smyrna Public Library through fundraising events and volunteer activities. FOSL is a member of the Friends of Libraries USA organization and is one of the most active Friends chapters in Georgia. Notable programs FOSL supports are the library’s Art Gallery, the “Murder Goes South” Festival of readers and writers, “The Link” newsletter and much more. Join FOSL for only $5 for an individual membership or $10 for a family membership and make a friend today. For more information, visit http://www.friendsofsmyrnalibrary.org/.


If you would like more information on this event, please e-mail Jeff Jones at jjatlanta@gmail.com or call 770/401-3050.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Summer Reading List & Featured Book

Summer 2011 Featured Book

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
by Rebecca Skloot

Summer 2011 Reading List

A Death in the Family by James Agee
An Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Brighton Rock by Graham Greene
Brother, I'm Dying by Edwidge Danticat
Checkpoint by Nicholson Baker
Cold Vengeance by Preston & Child
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Flannery O'Connor edited by Sarah Gordon
Folly by Susan Minot
How the Water Feels by Paul Eggers
How to be Good by Nick Hornby
Middlesex byJeffrey Eugenides
Museum of the Weird by Amelia Gray
My Life in Heavy Metal by Steve Almond
Open Secrets by Alice Munro
Rumors of Rain by Andre Brink
Saul and Patsy by Charles Baxter
Sunset Park by Paul Auster
The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingslover
The Bourne Ultimatum by Robert Ludlum
The Circus in Winter by Cathy Day
The Client by John Grisham
The English Major by Jim Harrison
The Fifth Child by Doris Lessing
The Final Martyrs by Shusaku Endo
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
The Painted Drum by Louise Erdrich
The Shining by Stephen King
The White Album by Joan Didion
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson
Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett


Sunday, May 1, 2011

2011 Annual Spring Jonquil Festival Book Sale Concludes

The 2011 Annual Spring Jonquil Festival Book Sale concluded today. More than 40 volunteers operated the booth for 2 days over the weekend. Hundreds of books were sold and approximately $2000 was raised for the library. We wish to thank all of our shoppers and our dedicated volunteers.

Our next book sale will be at the Frozen Yogurt Social in July.


May-June Art Gallery Exhibits Announced by Smyrna Library

Photography by Mike Nalley on display through June.

Mike Nalley is a professional photographer specializing in fine art portraits and commercial photography. Mike works a lot on series or themes such as The Abandonment which involves abandoned homes and the things left behind. Mike's major interests lie in abandoned buildings, factories, and homes. Also people down on their luck or in desolate circumstances. Mike spends time each year teaching and giving workshops across the southeastern US. Mike is the founder and president of the Paulding Photography Club, and president of Paulding Fine Arts Association. He is a member of The Artists Guild of N. W. Georgia, Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art, Atlanta Photography Group, and Museum of Contemporary Art GA.

Mike, a native Georgian, was born in Carrrollton, GA in 1955 and now resides in Dallas, GA, a small rural area in a larger metropolitan area. Mike first started using an SLR Minolta SRT 101 in 1974 at the age of nineteen. He began shooting and teaching himself photography and really fell in love with the process. In 1978 Mike started his schooling at the Art Institute of Atlanta, receiving an Associate of Arts in Photography in 1980. Mike worked at Foster and Associates as a custom color and black and white printer from 1979-1981.

Mike opened his first studio in Marietta, GA in 1981, and concentrated mainly on commercial work including lots of annual reports and architectural work. He stayed with the studio until 1984, when he opened a new business in irrigation and got married in 1985. Mike stayed away from photography for almost 21 years.

Mike went on to become a successful Realtor and after a great year in 2005 he decided to spend a month on St. George Island on the panhandle of Florida. He took along his old 35mm equipment and decided to try his hand at his old field. After a month of shooting all over the panhandle he actually had few printable images, but he was hooked again.

Mike went digital in early 2006 and since has won many awards and competitions. Mike now works with Canon digital cameras and has a great career in Fine Art Photography. He shows his work all across Georgia and surrounding states. He does workshops and classes in Georgia, Florida. and North Carolina. You can reach him at the following:



May-June Display Gallery Exhibits Announced by Smyrna Library

Marvelous Junque by Marlis Cornett on display through June.

Artist Statement:

I've been an artist as long as I can remember. It probably started at the young age of five, when I decided to paint my dad's car with the exterior house paint. Needless to say, that didn't go over real well and I experienced my first art critic.

My artistic journey has been painting with acrylics, oil, pastels - whether portraits of people, pets, or landscapes, and then found I could mix mediums with surprising results.

Piano art: These unique works of art began with my own childhood piano which was beyond reasonable repair but held such sentimental value for the entire family that it broke my heart to simply toss it out like trash. I took all the keys and the hammers (little oval felt pieces that hit the strings) and made several unique pieces of art for family members. To personalize each piece, I added their favorite sheet music, special embellishments, names from Scrabble tiles, and other sentimental objects to make the family piano their own lasting piece of art.

Box art: these small sturdy brick size boxes were perfect to create a unique canvas and "shadow box" for art. Glued together, applied paper mache' and gesso for a painting surface, turning one the opposite way for special objects and box art was born. Again, recycled art.

I love creating art from precious objects buried in drawers or boxes in the attic, but which need to be seen and enjoyed - through recycled-to-art.

Go GREEN! Buy recycled-to-art!


Monday, April 4, 2011

2011 Annual Spring Jonquil Festival Book Sale Announced

The 2011 Annual Spring Jonquil Festival Book Sale will be held on Saturday April 30, 2011 from 10 AM - 6 PM and Sunday May 1, 2011 from 12 PM - 5 PM.  The Friends of Smyrna Library booth will be located in front of the Smyrna Community Center.  A large selection will be available.  Nearly new and gently used Hardback books will be priced at $3 and $1.  Children’s books will be priced at  50 cents.  Paperback books and Music CDs wil be priced at 25 cents.  40 volunteer shifts are available.  Interested volunteers please e-mail Jeff Jones for more information.  Admission to the Jonquil Festival on the Village Green is free.     


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Spring Reading List & Featured Book

Spring 2011 Featured Book

Digging to America
by Anne Tyler

Spring 2011 Reading List

A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren
American Pastoral by Philip Roth
Behold the Fire by Steven D. Salinger
Close Range by Annie Proulx
Dead Run by Erica Spindler
Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Luka and the Fire of Life by Salman Rushdie
Mr Sammler's Planet by Saul Bellow
Old School by Tobias Wolff
Sag Harbor by Colson Whitehead
The Collected Stories by Richard Yates
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
The Mist by Carla Neggers
The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles
The Sweet Hereafter by Russell Banks
The Wilding by Benjamin Percy
Ya-Yas in Bloom by Rebecca Wells


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

March-April Art Gallery Exhibits Announced by Smyrna Library

Photo Art by Cobb Photographic Society on display through April.

The Cobb Photographic Society welcomes photographers of all skill and ability levels. The common bond among members is a desire to become better photographers. Whether your interest is mainly in capturing memories, sharing pictures with friends or family, or becoming a semi-professional or professional photographer, the club offers many ways for members to enhance their skills.

Workshops and Tutorials. The club offers member-led tutorials and workshops. Recent topics have included how to shoot flowers and panoramas, and tutorials on Photoshop CS5, Photoshop Elements 8 and Lightroom3.

Monthly Speakers. On the third Monday of each month the club hosts a speaker on a photographic topic. In the past year topics have included architectural photography, natural light portraiture, pet photography, and planning a photographic trip.

Competitions. On the first Monday of each month there is a themed competition in which an outside judge evaluates and critiques the images entered in the competition. Even if one does not enter the competition, hearing the judge evaluate and critique images makes it a valuable learning experience.

Field Trips. The club sponsors a number of field trips throughout the year. Many are one day, local trips to places like Providence Canyon, Arabia Mountain, Oakland Cemetery, and the Booth Museum. The club also sponsors one major trip each year. In the past two years members have gone to Yellowstone and Acadia National Park. Regardless of whether it is a one day local trip or a 10 day trip to a place like Yellowstone, shooting side by side with friends from the club and sharing results is an excellent way to learn.

The club meets from 7pm to 9pm on the first and third Monday of each month at the Marietta Enrichment Center

American Business Center, Building 700, Suite 702
1395 South Marietta Parkway
Marietta, GA 30067

The club's website--www.cobbphotosociety.com--provides up-to-date information on club activities and events. Hope to see you at our next meeting.

March-April Display Gallery Exhibits Announced by Smyrna Library

Vintage Images from 1880 to 1925 by Cicero C. Simmons on display through April.

Exhibit Overview:

About these photographs: These photographs were created by Cicero C. Simmons (1857-1939) who specialized in documenting special events and portraying rural life. He created wonderful images spanning from 1880-1925. He had a special gift for composition, use of lighting, and capturing the moment, which made his images a treasure from the past.

About these prints: These prints are a unique, high-quality enlargement made from the original glass plate negatives which have been cleaned and restored to their original condition. The negative produces an image with extraordinary sharpness, detail, and beauty. Glass plate negatives are very rare. Few have survived. Most are lost to the ravages of time. Each print is a continuous tone image on archive art paper, designed to provide a lifetime of enjoyment. Each print is signed by the restorer, Richard Stone, and the date of the picture, i.e., Circa 1885, as well as the title. Both are handwritten in pencil.

Vintage Images prints can be purchased from retrocollection.stores.yahoo.net/ . 11x14 prints are $35 plus shipping and 13X19 prints are $45 plus shipping You can contact Retro Collection at 770-435-4351 or at retrocollection@bellsouth.net


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Smyrna Reading Group Guest Speaker Announced

Thomas Mullen is the author of The Last Town on Earth, which was named Best Debut Novel of 2006 by USA Today, was a Chicago Tribune Best Book of the Year, and was awarded the James Fenimore Cooper Prize. His latest book is the critically acclaimed, The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers.

Mr. Mullen will be joining the Smyrna Book Discussion Group to talk about his novel, The Last Town on Earth on Tuesday March 8, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. in the upstairs meeting room at Smyrna Public Library.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

9th Annual Murder Goes South… Concludes

The 9th Annual Murder Goes South… A Festival of Readers and Writers of the Southern Mystery has concluded. The two-day event was well attended. Friday night’s activities featured a catered dinner at Smyrna Community Center. The attendees enjoyed New York Times and International Bestselling Mystery Writer Erica Spindler as the keynote speaker.

Saturday’s activities featured workshops and presentations from 8:30 am until 4:30 pm. Guest writers were "Georgia Adams", Glynn Marsh Alam, Carla Damron, Mitchell Graham, Cathy Pickens and William Rawlings Jr. Guest presenters were literary agent Janet Reid, Dr. Susan Kirkpatrick Smith of Kennesaw State University and representatives from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency.

The Friends of Smyrna Library sincerely thanks Keynote Speaker Erica Spindler, our featured guest writers and presenters and our attendees for making the 9th Annual Murder Goes South… A Festival of Readers and Writers of the Southern Mystery a tremendous success.


Monday, January 3, 2011

January-February Art Gallery Exhibit Announced by Smyrna Library

Oils by Dorothy Johnson on display through February.

Dorothy Johnson's calling as an artist started by chance back in Kenya in January 2009. One day she was just lounging the afternoon away, "when a figure suddenly appeared in my mind. It was full of flair and color, beautifully decorated with beads." That stirred her heart and the next thing she knew she badly wanted to paint that image. She drew inspiration from the culture preserved by Kenya's indigenous tribes- mainly the Maasai and the Turkana. In it she saw the importance of sharing their legacy in visual imagery. She immediately bought cloth and dye, and that marked the beginning of her "Back To The Roots" story-telling painting technique.

When she came to America three months later, she transitioned from cloth to canvas, hardboard surfaces and taught herself to work in acrylics, oils and 3D. As much as she enjoys African art, she also paints scenics in spontaneous compositions, with distinctive brushwork and emotional "feelings". A friend once bought a landscape painting because it reminded her of home and she says, "that made me very happy that I was able to bring someone's home so close to her living room. That means a lot to me." The things she sees in everyday nature, their depth in textures, layer formations in rare skies, give her a desire to convey great depth and perspective and to focus chiefly in color detail and vibrancy in her landscapes and seascapes. She doesn't have a specific medium of choice but loves to experiment with them all, her happiest moments being when she uses what lies beneath her heart with passion. She loves seeing that energy transfer to someone else. "It is so fulfilling. To me a good piece of art is one that inspires."

With the help of her adoring and supportive husband Darron, Dorothy was able to exhibit her work for the first time at the 2010 Smyrna Jonquil Arts and Crafts Fall Festival. She aspires to become a professional artist, gain her entrée into the Paris art world and become affiliated with art galleries, museums and associations around the world. Her primary goal is to teach art to children and by giving back sense of who they are, make them learn to appreciate art and themselves through images, paintings, sculptures, and fine art. Currently, she lives in Smyrna, GA, and is pursuing her dream at Chattahoochee Technical College.

Contact. dorzejarts@gmail.com


January-February Display Gallery Exhibit Announced by Smyrna Library

Japanese Sculpture in Wood and Iron by Toru Shimoji on display through February.

Sensei Toru Shimoji is a five time US and repeated international champion in Traditional Karate, trained by esteemed Hidetaka Nishiyama. Shaped by his Okinawan youth and the discipline of Japanese Calligraphy, Toru explores the expressive potentials of wood and iron.

"My works are abstract, interpretative and figurative, adhering to compositional form I learned in Japanese Calligraphy. My aim is to inspire an interaction between the sculpture and the viewer, who can freely interpret and explore its evocations."

Ever since I can remember, I loved art. I used to make up imaginative stories about the lives of the farmers portrayed in a small faded print my mother had hung in our house. It was Millet's The Gleaners. I remembered being captivated by this masterpiece, used to lie on the floor and stare at it for hours. Connection wasn't too hard since my mother's family were all farmers from Miyako Island, one of many in the Okinawan chain.

I was introduced to art early through the Japanese education system (K to 4). Even then, I gravitated towards sculpture, predictably making clay monsters and wooden robots. By the time our family immigrated to the U.S. in 1970, I was familiar with various mediums and their basic techniques.

In 1996, I settled in Atlanta, GA and opened a karate school. As a hobby, I made a few wooden sculptures, but in the summer of 2002 something finally exploded within me. It felt like a cosmic order-create or die! So I took a deep breath and jumped. I enrolled in the Welding Technology Program at Gwinnett Technical College and began making metal sculptures.

Seeds of inspirations are constantly germinating in my psyche. As one sprouts I like to sculpt it in my mind before making a few preliminary sketches or clay models. Sometime I skip this process altogether. Visualization is dynamic and often vague, leaving me in a mixed state of excitement and anxiety. The piece will finally materialize in the shop, after struggling with multitudes of adjustments in texture, composition and angles. It usually flows well, but the real challenge is trying to manage all the seeds at different stages, not to mention the limitation of space-time continuum.

I like my work to be abstract, interpretive and figurative, adhering to compositional form I learned in Japanese calligraphy, and influenced by past masters like Musashi (17th century Japanese swordsman/artist), Michelangelo, and Julio Gonzalez. A moment's inspiration might come from a variation in my student's karate movement or in my own examination of intricate detail in the skeletal remains of a coyote's skull, but my aim is to inspire an interaction between the sculpture and viewer, who can freely interpret and explore its evocations.

I believe in the muses. Mine are never subtle, they perpetually scream in my head.. I can always count on troubling fellowship from at least three, rarely fewer. My only solitude is in training and teaching karate, which keeps me in sanity.

As a sculptor, he is self-taught, concentrating mostly on wood and metal. He is most influenced by three masters, Michelangelo, Julio Gonzalez, and Miyamoto Musashi. He found his unique artistic "voice" when he finally figured out the link between self-expression and spatial composition.

Exhibitor's Website


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Winter Reading List & Featured Book

Winter 2011 Featured Book

The Last Town on Earth
by Thomas Mullen

Winter 2011 Reading List

2666 by Roberto Bolano
An Ice Cold Grave by Charlaine Harris
Covenant Hall by Kathryn R. Wall
Death with Interruptions by Jose Saramago
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
Engine Summer by John Crowley
Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
My Last Days as Roy Rogers by Pat Devoto
Pope John Paul II by Tad Szulc
Prayer of the Dragon by Eliot Pattison
Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
Rosa Parks by Douglas Brinkley
Stripped to Kill by Steve Brown
The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
The Last Town on Earth by Thomas Mullen
Voices of Protest by Alan Brinkley
Written in Bone by Simon Beckett