Sunday, December 1, 2013

First Sunday Lecture Series: Turning Points in the History of Smyrna

Speaker: Dr. William P. Marchione, author of A Brief History of Smyrna, Georgia

Dr. Marchione presented a slideshow presentation entitled “Turning Points in the History of Smyrna” that examined the factors that fostered or retarded growth of the city over the course of its history. A book signing of Dr. Marchione’s book, which offers many new perspectives on Smyrna’s interesting history, followed.

The "First Sunday" lecture series is held in the Smyrna Public Library Meeting Room and is sponsored by the Friends of Smyrna Library.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

First Sunday Lecture Series: Wilbur Kurtz, Artist and Illustrator

Wilbur Kurtz III (Bill) spoke on the life and career of his grandfather and namesake, noted Atlanta area artist, illustrator and historian Wilbur Kurtz.  The artist moved to Atlanta from the Midwest in 1912. His adventures with pen, paintbrush, and sketchbook spanned 55 years and his works are now on display in major American art museums.

Mr. Kurtz became technical adviser for three notable Hollywood films that treated of Georgia themes: “Gone With the Wind” (1938); “Song of the South” (1946); and Walt Disney’s “The Great Locomotive Chase” (1957).  The speaker displayed various items of his grandfather's paintings, sketch books, and memorabilia in this fascinating talk.

The "First Sunday" lecture series is held in the Smyrna Public Library Meeting Room and is sponsored by the Friends of Smyrna Library.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Illustrations In Graphite, Pen & Ink Exhibit by Bill Needs Opens in Art Gallery

A resident of Marietta for nearly 40 years, Bill Needs followed an unusual route into the field of art. A few years after retiring from a career in Vocational Rehabilitation, curiosity prompted him to enroll in a drawing course at Kennesaw State University, (OLLI) Continuing Education. With no prior interest in art, that brief exposure to the creative powers of a pencil and pen revealed a hidden talent! For over five years, Bill has continued to experiment and expand his artistic perceptions with these simple tools. 

His art is eclectic ...

-capturing motion and mood of weather upon landscapes and seascapes;
-reflecting a range of human emotion in faces, postures and interacting cultures,
-sculpting memory-evoking images of and bonds with animals and pets;
-even offering whimsical views of Marietta’s fabled icon, the “Big Chicken”.

Poignant illustrations to supplement love poems authored by Dr. Bruce Gillett in Quarter Peeled Oranges; cover illustration to the historical treatment of letters from civil war soldiers interred at Marietta’s National Cemetery, titled Rest Brave Comrades – Your Work is Done, published by historian Brad Quinlin; and more.
This talent continues to evolve, to his delight and to the surprise of those who know him. His art can also be found in DuPre’s Antique Market – Artist’s Forum”. You are invited to enjoy his art, add your comments, request a commission, or make recommendations for other scenes you’d like to see Bill bring to the sketchbook. -rendering precise architectural lines to describe buildings and monuments;

Bill’s art has been featured in local juried exhibitions at Marietta Art Museum, Acworth’s Gallery 4463, and Kennesaw’s Smith Gilbert Gardens. Bill has donated architectural illustrations for Marietta’s annual “Pilgrimage” holiday tour of homes. Bill has offered drawing classes (titled “Beyond Doodling”) to Marietta’s Enrichment for Life Movement (“ELM”), and other venues around Cobb.


Origami, Armor & Jewelry Exhibit by Helen Rule Opens in Display Gallery

Helen Rule lives in Marietta. She holds a degree in anthropology from The Johns Hopkins University of Baltimore and an MBA from Emory University in Atlanta. Her jewelry, armor and origami designs reflect her extensive background in cultural anthropology and archaeology, as well as her passion for East Asian art, history and culture, and her lifelong interest in military history.

Chainmaille refers to the material produced by linking small metal rings together to form a mesh. Helen has been studying and making chainmaille for over ten years. Her chainmaille jewelry pieces have hundreds (sometimes thousands) of hand-made links that are woven into unique works of art. Because of the many types of chain patterns that can be produced and her ability to incorporate other elements (such as semiprecious stones, beads, found objects, etc.), Helen's chainmaille jewelry pieces are complex, beautiful, and unique. Her designs range from the casual to the exquisite.

Helen also designs wearable pieces of clothing and armor that incorporate chainmaille, leather, metals and cloth. She draws much of her inspiration from the techniques used in ancient military garb. Helen's armor pieces are influenced by the traditional shapes and techniques of ancient armor used around the world, but incorporate her own unique designs and materials.

Also drawing upon her interest in Asian culture, Helen creates unique origami ornaments, sculptures, and jewelry, primarily revolving around the iconic crane so prevalent in Japanese society. Origami is the traditional Japanese art of paper folding. It is believed to have started in the 17th century AD and was popularized outside of Japan in the mid-1900s. It has evolved into a modern art form. Helen's origami pieces range from simple ornaments to elaborate sculptures incorporating found objects and other elements, even including chainmaille in some pieces.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Fall Jonquil Festival Book Sale Proceeds

We raised $1,566 during the Fall Jonquil Festival this weekend.

The weather was a bit chilly and we had a great turnout.  We sold all the old books that have been in the inventory over the past couple of years.

Our inventory now is at at RECORD LOW and we need donations of gently used books.

Thanks again to everyone who volunteered!!!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

First Sunday Lecture Series: Karl Puffe, An Immigrant's Story

Long-time Smyrna resident and former Smyrna City Councilman Foster Puffe presented a slideshow and talk entitled "An Immigrant's Story". It was based on a diary that his German grandfather kept while traveling from the Austro-Hungarian Empire to the United States in 1892. 

The diary provides fascinating insights into a typical immigrant's experience on shipboard and at the Ellis Island Immigration Station in New York City.  The diary is now on permanent exhibit at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

2014 Murder Goes South Presenter Bio: TAMAR MYERS, Special Guest

Tamar Myers was born and raised in the Belgian Congo (now just the Congo). Her parents were missionaries to a tribe which, at that time, were known as headhunters and used human skulls for drinking cups. Hers was the first white family ever to peacefully coexist with the tribe, and Tamar grew up fluent in the local trade language.

In college Tamar began to submit novels for publication, but it took twenty-three years for her to get published. Persistence paid off, however, because Tamar is now the author of two ongoing mystery series. One is set in Pennsylvania and features Magdalena Yoder, an Amish-Mennonite sleuth who runs a bed and breakfast in the mythical town of Hernia. The other is set in the Carolinas and centers around the adventures of Abigail Timberlake, the proud owner of a Charlotte (and later Charleston) antique store, the Den of Antiquity.

Tamar now calls Charlotte, North Carolina, home. She lives with her husband, plus a Basenji dog named Pagan, a Bengal cat named Nkashama, and an orange tabby rescue cat named Dumpster Boy. She and her husband are of the Jewish faith, the animals are not.

Tamar enjoys gardening (she is a Master Gardner), bonsai, travel, painting and, of course, reading. She loves Thai and Indian food, and antique jewelry. She plans to visit Machu Picchu in the near future.
She is currently working on her 32nd novel. MS Myers is a member of Sisters in Crime writers' group.

2014 Murder Goes South Presenter Bio: Debby Giusti

Debby published in magazines when her children were young and her husband was teaching ROTC at Truman State University. As the children grew older, she put her writing on hold and focused on church ministry and community service.
For many years, Debby wrote for SOUTHERN LADY MAGAZINE, a beautiful publication filled with everything a true Southern belle loves . . . elegant tableware, delicate lace and antique linens, special shopping and dining destinations, yummy recipes and stories about women who have made a difference. Pick up a copy and see why SOUTHERN LADY is Debby's favorite magazine!

Now Debby spends most of her time writing inspirational romantic suspense. She's currently working on her Military Investigations Series for STEEPLE HILL Love Inspired Suspense. THE OFFICER'S SECRET launched the series in May 2011. The second book, THE CAPTAIN'S MISSION, followed later that year. THE GENERAL'S SECRETARY was released in January 2013. Ms Guisti is a member of Sisters in Crime Atlanta Chapter.

2014 Murder Goes South Presenter Bio: Deborah Malone

Deborah's work as a freelance writer and photographer has appeared in the historical magazine "Georgia Backroads" since 2001. Her short stories have appeared in "Tales of the Rails" edited by Olin Jackson. She has an established blog, Butterfly Journey, where she reviews Christian Fiction. "Death in Dahlonega" Deborah's debut cozy mystery was released October of 2011. "Death in Dahlonega" won second place in the mystery/suspense category in the American Christian Fiction Writer's Category Five Writer's Contest.

Deborah would love to hear from you. Visit her website at Her second novel "A Murder in Marietta" was released in October 2012. 

2014 Murder Goes South Presenter Bio: Pamela V Mason

Pamela V. Mason is a hybrid native of New Orleans and Mobile, AL … two sister cities that are so alike, they polarize each other like the north and south ends of magnets. Much like Pam… and Pamela.

At WriterMason Productions she promotes her clients books on Facebook, Google +, Twitter, Goodreads, and any other appropriate sites that specifically draw romance readers. She offer other avenues of promotion like contests, Tweet chats, Google + Hangouts, and Facebook and Goodread chats, and if her client feels really adventurous, she will brainstorm some other ideas out of the box.
Her idea of romance writing-Drag Queens pitted against Azalea Trail maids with some N'Awlins paranormal and Mobilian southern gentility thrown in. Pamela currently resides outside of Atlanta. If you'd like to make contact her email address is

2014 Murder Goes South Presenter Bio: Bryan Powell

Bryan M. Powell is the music pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Smyrna, GA. His book Stranger in the Pulpit is a faith based mystery novel set in Beaumont, Colorado. Chase Newton, an investigative reporter finds himself caught in an international conspiracy. In his quest for the truth to discover who Pastor T.J. Richards really is, he finds the truth he has been searching for all his life. Bryan other novels include Stranger in the White House, and Sisters of the Veil, which was released in January 2012.

2014 Murder Goes South Presenter Bio: Larissa Reinhart

Larissa considers herself lucky to have taught English in Japan, escaped a ferocious monkey in Thailand, studied archaeology in Egypt, and survived teaching high school history in the US. However, adopting her daughters from China has been her most rewarding experience. After moving around the Midwest, the South and Japan, she now lives in Georgia with her husband, daughters, two frogs, two fish, and Biscuit, a Cairn Terrier.

She loves small town characters with big attitudes, particularly sassy women with a penchant for trouble. Her third Cherry Tucker mystery with Henery Press, HIJACK IN ABSTRACT, releases November 5, 2013, following STILL LIFE IN BRUNSWICK STEW, (May 21, 2013) and PORTRAIT OF A DEAD GUY (August 28, 2012). Portrait is a 2012 Daphne du Maurier finalist, a 2012 The Emily finalist, and a 2011 Dixie Kane Memorial winner. On December 9, 2013, a Cherry Tucker prequel novella, QUICK SKETCH, will launch in the mystery anthology THE HEARTACHE MOTEL.

When she's not writing about Southern fried chicken, she writes about Asian fried chicken at her blog about life as an ex-expat at the Expat Returneth.

2014 Murder Goes South Presenter Bio: Louise B Richardson

Louise B. Richardson is the 2014 president of Sisters in Crime-Atlanta. A veteran writer, with many years in PR and advertising on both the agency and client sides of the desk, she has served as an officer of two companies, as well as president of her own firm. She also taught college composition and business writing for over a decade.

Enthralled by fiction since childhood and hooked on mysteries since her 20's, Louise has recently begun to try her hand at mystery writing, inspired by many of the authors she has met through Sisters In Crime and Murder Goes South. She is excited to be among this year's panel moderators.

2014 Murder Goes South Presenter Bio: Lane Stone

Lane is a native Atlantan and graduate of Georgia State University. She, her husband, Larry Korb, and the real Abby divide their time between Sugar Hill, GA and Alexandria, VA.

She’s a member of both the Chessie Chapter and the Atlanta Chapter of Sisters in Crime. When not writing she’s either raising money for women political candidates for Women’s Action for New Directions, hiking in various countries or playing golf.

She is the author of the Tiara Investigations mystery series. Her novels include Domestic Affairs and Current Affairs.

2014 Murder Goes South Presenter Bio: Tina Whittle

Tina Whittle's Tai Randolph/Trey Seaver series - featuring intrepid gunshop owner Tai and her corporate security agent partner Trey - has garnered starred reviews in Kirkus, Publisher's Weekly, Booklist, and Library Journal.  Published by Poisoned Pen Press, this Atlanta-based series debuted with The Dangerous Edge of Things, followed by Darker Than Any Shadow. The third book - Blood, Ash and Bone- premiered March 2013.

A nominee for Georgia Author of the Year in 2012, Whittle's short fiction has appeared in The Savannah Literary Journal, Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, and Gulf Stream, which selected her story "Lost Causes and Other Reasons to Live" as the 2004 winner of their Mystery Fiction contest. 

When not writing or reading, she enjoys golf, sushi, mini-pilgrimages, and spending time with her family (one husband, one daughter, one neurotic Maltese and three chickens).

2014 Murder Goes South Presenters Announced

Friends of Smyrna Library announced the presenters for the 2014 Murder Goes South - a Festival of Readers and Writers of the Southern Mystery. The festival will be held on Saturday January 25, 2014 at the Smyrna Community Center from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm.

TAMAR MYERS, Special Guest, author of 32 novels including thePennsylvania-Dutch Mystery with Recipes and Den of Antiquity mystery series.

Debby Giusti, author of The General’s Secretary, The Soldier’s Sister, The Colonel’s Daughter, MIA, and Countdown to Death.

Deborah Malone, author of Murder in Marietta and Death in Dahlonega.

Pamela V Mason, founder of WriterMason Productions and promoter of writers.

Bryan Powell, author of Stranger in the Pulpit, Stranger in the Whitehouse, and Sisters of the Veil.

Larissa Reinhart, author of Still Life in Brunswick Stew, Portrait of a Dead Guy, and Hijack to Abstract.

Louise B Richardson, 2014 president of Sisters in Crime - Atlanta Chapter.

Lane Stone, author of the Tiara Investigations mystery series.

Tina Whittle, author of The Dangerous Edge of Thins, Blood Ash and Bone, and Darker than Any Shadow.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Jewelry & Fused Glass Art Exhibit by Marselle Harrison-Miles Opens in Display Gallery

Growing up Marselle had always been surrounded by creative people. Her Grandfather and mother both had flourishing singing careers with a "9-5" by day and nights filled with rehearsals and performances at church or at local events. Aside from a passion for musicshe was enamored with dance, drawing and the family glass menagerie. She continuedher love of visual arts through high school by claiming to want to be artist and taking as many art classes as she possibly could. Marselle began Piedmont College with a major in the Arts supported by a basketball scholarship. She completed her studies at Georgia State University with her degree in Drawing and Painting and minoring in African/African Diaspora Arts. Right out of school, Marselle started working at the Atlanta International Museum of Art Design and Culture, now known as MODA, in Atlanta as an intern Docent/Education Coordinator. This is where Marselle's love of glass and beads was reawakened by the Ndebele of South Africa exhibit on display in the museum and the colorful Dale Chihuly vessels on display in the gift shop. It was then she started collecting beads, studying various bead weaving patterns and making beaded jewelry. 

Before long Marselle started working for The Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta as an Art Director who often gleaned artistic inspiration from her student programs and other Artists. Later she became the Program Director for Youth Art Connection. Marselle loved the freedom of creation, art lesson development and art instruction that exposed her to local and visiting artists monthly. She then started working as an Arts Specialist for Cobb County and slowly but surely started to learn glass fusing and slumping techniques from Teresa Barnes, a teacher at all three county centers. Though glass instruction focused on small to large platters, dishes and vessels, Marselle concentrated on developing jewelry designs. Her fused glass jewelry consists of opal and transparent glasses with irid and dischroic glass on the surface. Most jewelry designs have fine silver fused into the glass so that after firing, jump rings and other attachment mechanisms can be incorporated into the final creation as either a, ring, bracelet, necklace or pair of earrings. Glass Artists Evette Everette, Kate Rothra Flemming and Patti Cahill are all amazing jewelry artisans Marselle considers mentors.

Marselle is not limited to jewelry design but has also studied alternative photography processes such as polaroid and emulsion transfer techniques. A good friend and talented photographer Michael Reese taught her the basics and inspired her to experiment and find the story. While polaroid is no longer an active company, she is always looking to push the limits of film developing and transfer techniques to unusual surfaces. For the current show "Remembering", she uses special fusible paper for fusible glass that allows her to combine her love of glass fusing and special moments captured on film for moments forever captured in glass. 

Marselle resides in Metro Atlanta and works out of her home studio to create both custom and inspired fused glass art to wear and display.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Fall 2013 Recommended Reading List

The Friends of Smyrna Library recommend the following books for the fall reading season. This season’s featured book is Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult.

American Gun by Chris Kyle
Anil's Ghost by Michael Ondaatje
Bad Monkey by Carl Hiaasen
Bones Of The Lost by Kathy Reichs
Calculated In Death by J. D. Robb
Death Angel by Linda Fairstein 
Dad Is Fat by Jim Gaffigan
Deadlock by Iris Johansen
Deadly Heat by Richard Castle
Empire and Honor by W.E.B. Griffin
Fatally Flaky by Diane Mott Davidson
First Sight by Danielle Steel 
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Hotshot by Julie Garwood 
Inferno by Dan Brown
Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon
Maddaddam by Margaret Atwood
Never Go Back by Lee Child
Night Film by Marisha Pessl
Purple Cane Road by James Lee Burke
Reign Of Error by Diane Ravitch
Rose Harbor In Bloom by Debbie Macomber
Second Honeymoon by James Patterson
Silent Mercy by Linda Fairstein
Songs Of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford
Stolen Prey by John Sandford
Summer on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
The Boys In The Boat by Daniel James Brown
The Companions by R.A. Salvatore
The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith
The Guns At Last Light by Rick Atkinson
The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
The Ocean At The End Of The Lane by Neil Gaiman
The Panther by Nelson DeMille
The Signature Of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert 
W Is For Wasted by Sue Grafton
Zero Hour by Clive Cussler

Compiled by FOSL Volunteer

Sunday, September 8, 2013

First Sunday Lecture Series: The Dispossession of the Cherokee, 1829 to 1838

Smyrna Resident Andrea Searles gave a profusely illustrated slide/talk on the topic, "The Dispossession of the Cherokee, 1829 to 1838."  

Her informative talk focused upon the factors that led to large-scale white penetration of North Georgia following the discovery of gold there in 1828, and the forces, political, economic, and social, that culminated in the forced removal of an estimated 15,000 Cherokee to the Trans-Mississippi west in 1838, in an incident known to history as "The Trail of Tears."

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Watercolors Exhibit by Betty Derrick Opens in Art Gallery

Artist Statement

Drawing and painting have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I grew up in Greenville SC but moved to Governor's Island at the tip of Manhattan when I was in third grade. To pass the drab winter months so foreign to a Southern child living temporarily in New York, my mother enrolled me in an art class taught by a Pratt Institute graduate student. I still have a picture I painted in the class--a portrait of a bruised and battered prizefighter. I continue to wonder where I (an eight-year old) found my subject and what attracted me. It is the constant wonder of creativity that has kept me painting off and on all these years.

I paint in watercolor. I love the light, the transparency and the serendipities which spring from knowing how to manage the paint and control the brush. Many artists hate the unforgiving nature of watercolor (mistakes cannot be painted over) while I love the risk and adventure. This is a contrast to my normal personality and perhaps that is the appeal. I try to find abstract forms across objects and movement in still life. I paint a variety of subjects from whimsical to traditional.

I graduated from Agnes Scott College where I studied with Ferdinand Warren (AWS). I have also studied with Charles Reid and Atlantans Dolores Kennedy and Ben Smith. My work has been accepted into many juried shows and is held in private and corporate collections.

Pottery Exhibit by Ann Wallin Opens in Display Gallery

Artist Statement

My first experience with clay occurred while attending Radford University in Radford, Virginia from 1960 to 1962. During a class in sculpture, I found that I really enjoyed working with my hands to form the class project -- a bust. Twenty years passed during which I was a wife, mother, homemaker, secretary, bookkeeper and real estate agent. I was living in Charleston, South Carolina, when memories of that long-ago experience prompted me to take a pottery class at the Gibbs School of Art. Once again, I found a real joy in working with clay -- this time on the potters’ wheel. 

Shortly afterward, a career change for my husband brought the family to Marietta, Georgia, near Atlanta. I knew even before leaving South Carolina that I wanted to pursue a career in pottery. I continued taking lessons in the Marietta area. I also worked as a pottery studio assistant and that experience gave me valuable insights into the requirements for setting up my own studio.

In 1986, I entered the market as a functional potter, working in high-fired stoneware. A short while later, I was offered the opportunity to teach at a newly established art center, sponsored by Cobb County, called “The Steeple House.” I began my educational career by teaching creative clay projects to kids, ages 6 through 12. I also taught wheel and hand building techniques to teens and adults. In 1990, Cobb County recognized the need for a larger art center and opened “The Art Place,” where I continued to teach. At the same time, I also taught similar classes at the Marietta – Cobb Museum of Art. Throughout this period, I marketed my personal work through galleries and art festivals. Recently, I have reduced my teaching activity to concentrate on workshops. I have also recently focused my production activity to concentrate on art festivals. 

Early, the products and techniques of the Japanese Raku firing process fascinated me. I took a three-week course with Rick Berman at the Penland School of Arts and Crafts in 1987. By 1990-91, I was confident of my ability with the new process. I used this confidence to shift the central emphasis of my work to the visual and decorative items that result from the Raku process. 

One of the highlights of my career occurred in 1998 when the crew of the “Lynette Jennings Design” television shows visited my studio to film my Raku creation process. This series of television shows showcased artists and craftsmen from around the country and was broadcast nationwide on the Discovery Channel. The show segment that featured my work has been rerun repeatedly after its initial presentation.

I have won many awards, I have participated in juried exhibits, and I have been accepted in major regional and national shows. I always have enjoyed contact with the public and I enjoy the comments that are prompted by my work. I especially like the idea that strangers may enjoy my art enough to decorate their homes or to present my pieces as gifts. I look forward to many more years of forming shapeless lumps of clay into fresh expressions of my imagination.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Annual Frozen Yogurt Social and Book Sale

The Friends of Smyrna Library hosted the Annual Frozen Yogurt Social this afternoon.  150 attendees enjoyed complimentary chocolate and vanilla frozen yogurt from Cowlicks.  Children enjoyed a wide assortment of crafts too.  The mini book sale raised $215.

Check our website and Facebook page in the spring for information on next year’s event.   

Sunday, August 4, 2013

First Sunday Lecture Series: The Lockheed Plant

Marietta Daily Journal editor Joe Kirby spoke on his recently published book, "The Lockheed Plant" (Arcadia Publishing, 2011).  Mr. Kirby has written two books on the rise of the local aeronautics industry, "The Bell Bomber Plant" and "The Lockheed Plant." 

His slide/talk focused on the history of the Lockheed facility and the transformational impact that the Marietta industrial complex, which at its height employed more than 30,000 workers, had upon surrounding communities like Smyrna.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

First Sunday Lecture Series: Smyrna, Georgia, 1930 - 1930

Smyrna historian Dr. William Marchione  presented a slide lecture entitled "Smyrna, Georgia, 1930 - 1930" focusing on how Smyrna evolved from an agricultural village into a fast growing commuter suburb in these formative years. 

The lecture was based largely on chapter 6 of his forthcoming book, "A Brief History of Smyrna, Georgia," due to be published by the History Press" in the fall of 2013. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Photography Exhibit by Susannah Masarie Opens in Art Gallery

Artist Statement

Susannah Masarie is an artist who's medium is photography. Susannah has a love for the great outdoors. She feels that an appreciation of nature is important to the conservation of the earth. She uses photography to capture the little details of nature that are easily overlooked. Her love of nature started from growing up in North Carolina and having had many opportunities to experience the natural world. She has traveled and photographed in many of the United States and six other countries.

Susannah first became interested in photography when she took photography classes in high school. She graduated from Appalachian State University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in Technology, with a photography concentration. Her work has been shown in galleries, restaurants and coffee shops, used for multiple websites, and several publications.

Susannah is currently working on archiving her past photographic work, and looking for ways to do more with her photography.

Sculptures Exhibit by Helen Helwig Opens in Display Gallery

Artist Statement

Active in art pottery since 1975, Helen Helwig studied at Ohio State University and was an assistant at the Arrowmont School for Arts and Crafts. She has been an artist-in-residence numerous times, an art teacher and conducts workshops in clay techniques, handmade tile, and mosaics. Helwig has participated in juried art fairs for more than 20 years and enjoys the opportunity to share her art work with the public.

More recently, Helen Helwig has created mixed media mosaics and sculptures that combine metal and sculpted clay. She is currently working on several large-scale commissions and has completed public art installations for hospitals, libraries, schools, highway underpasses, bus shelters and corporate offices.

Helen Helwig¹s functional art is created using wheel thrown, hand built and extrusion techniques. These pieces often include incised and relief sculptures of birds, animals, and plants. The sculpted, textured and incised areas are stained and then glazed in a manner that enhances the details and surface of the images. Helwig formulates many of her own glazes to achieve unusual effects and colors.

The artist¹s decorative clay sculptures and mixed media mosaics typically depict flora and fauna themes. The mosaics include handmade clay pieces, broken tiles, rocks and glass beads. The sculptures and mosaics are adhered to backer board, walls, table tops, concrete bird baths and steel armatures.

Helen Helwig is inspired by flora and fauna, the geology and the geographic features of the region and the seasons. The stylized and symbolic images she uses as well as the themes are often derived from cultural, historical and environmental references


Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer Reading List & Featured Book

Featured Book

Ethan Frome
by Edith Wharton

Other Recommended Reading Selections

A Step of Faith by Richard Paul Evans
Alex Cross, Run by James Patterson
All You Could Ask For by Mike Greenberg
Benediction by Kent Haruf
Best Kept Secret by Jeffrey Archer
Breaking Point by C. J. Box
Calculated in Death by J. D. Robb
Daddy’s Gone a Hunting by Mary Higgins Clark
Don’t Go by Lisa Scottoline
Fly Away by Kristin Hannah
Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs
Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi
How Children Succeed by Paul Tough
Life after Life by Jill McCorkle
Mary Coin by Marisa Silver
Maya’s Notebook by Isabel Allende
Paris by Edward Rutherford
Salt, Sugar, Fat by Michael Moss
Secrets From the Past by Barbara Taylor Bradford
Shadow of Freedom by David Weber
Silken Prey by John Sandford
Six Years by Harlan Coben
Sum It Up by Pat Summitt
Taking Eve by Iris Johansen
Tapestry of Fortunes by Elizabeth Berg
The Ashford Affair by Lauren Willig
The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan
The Hit by David Baldacci
The Last Threshold by R. A. Salvatore
The Mystery Woman by Amanda Quick
The Story of God and All of Us
by Roma Downey and Mark Burnett
The Storyteller by Jody Picoult
The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat 
by Edward Kelsey
The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud
Unintended Consequences by Stuart Woods
Unsinkable by Debbie Reynolds
Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts

Compiled by FOSL Volunteer

Sunday, June 2, 2013

First Sunday Lecture Series: Blacks and the Olympic Games - Contributions and Controversies

Idorenyin Uyoe, a historian of the Olympics, spoke about the history of the games and showed his video "Blacks and the Olympic Games - Contributions and Controversies." The Olympic Games have now become the single most visible sporting event of our time, evolving into a $6 Billion franchise. 

This presentation discussed the contributions people of color have made in building the Olympics into the successful cultural phenomenon it is today. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

First Sunday Lecture Series: Images of Vinings

Cobb County Public Library Vinings Branch librarian Susan Kendall spoke on her recently published photographic history of the neighboring community of Vinings. This book covers the area’s history from its original native American population to the dynamic Vinings of the Platinum Triangle and contains over 200 vintage photographs, many published for the first time.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Photography by Diane Watson Exhibit Opens in Art Gallery

Diane Watson is an award-winning photographer from Duluth, Georgia and from the World. Diane has spent much of her career (starting at age 8) shooting travel photographs which document the contrasts between people and their environment. She is always in search of hidden gems and funky images. Her photos have captured the beautiful and not so beautiful on five continents.

Being a survivor of Hurricane Andrew, Diane offers her services as a photo inventory specialist for home and business owners. She is currently writing a book which will help home owners and small businesses avoid a financial disaster after a natural disaster.

The images of Cambodia in this exhibit were taken in January 2012. Cambodia is a nation attempting to recover from the devastation of the Pol Pot Regime. These photographs capture the contrasts between the very rich and the desperately poor. The Cambodian people are beautiful in spirit, and always greet you with a bright smile no matter what their circumstances.

Also included in this exhibit are images from the Atlanta Botanical Garden as well as photographs of Dale Chihuly’s colorful glass sculptures in the Seattle Center.

Please enjoy the bright and colorful images from Diane Watson!

Contact Diane at or 770-309-4924

Paintings & Paper Arts by Janet Warren Exhibit Opens in Display Gallery

A native of Alabama, Janet (Jan) Warren graduated from Jacksonville State University and moved to Georgia in 1970. Her love of color began in childhood with drives in the country on Sundays after church with her family. At the time, she complained the only thing to look at were green and brown trees. Soon she began to notice the variety of shapes and shades of color each tree possessed.

Coming from a family of creative thinkers, she enjoys assisting others in interior design and in the arts. Living in metro-Atlanta has given her the opportunity to study under several local artists and she continues to search for new avenues of learning. She has painted with oils in the past, but recently she has been working with acrylics and watercolor pencils.

Jan’s first challenge in acrylics was to paint a “rooster,” suggested by her teacher. She found roosters make an exciting subject and she continues this pursuit. Being a true Aquarian, she loves versatility in her art and continues to seek out new subjects to paint. She is excited to share her newest creations with you during May and June, 2013. Jan’s love of art can be found in her contemporary and traditional art, greeting cards, and gift items.

Her client base extends from Alaska to Florida. Jan’s art is also available at Donna Van Gogh’s in Decatur, Marietta’s First Friday ArtWalk during the months of April through October 2013. Her work is listed as Janzart Originals and is located at the Arts of Cobb, 19 Powder Springs St, Marietta.

She shares her art on Facebook under Creative Tapestry. Janzart Originals and gift items are at (1), (2) Fine Art of America and, (3) soon she will be on Etsy. For more information about her work, you are welcome to email her at

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Spring Jonquil Festival Book Sales Proceeds

We raised a little over $1200 during the Spring Jonquil Festival this weekend.  The Sunday sale was moved to the library when the festival was cancelled due to heavy rain.  Thanks to everyone who volunteered!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Friends of Smyrna Library Announce "First Sunday" Lecture Program

The Friends of Smyrna Library announce a new monthly program to bring speakers to the Smyrna Public Library. The First Sunday Lecture Series will begin on May 5 and the lectures will be held in the 1st floor conference room. Details on the 3 inaugural meetings follow.

Sunday, May 5, 2013 at 3 p.m. - Susan Kendall, Head Librarian of Cobb County's Vinings Branch Library, will discuss her recently published history of Vinings, Georgia.

This photography history, published by Arcadia publishing in the "Images of America Series" contains over 200 vintage photos of the fascinating neighboring community of Vinings, Georgia. Copies will be available for purchase.

Sunday, June 2, 2013 at 3 p.m. - Idorenyin Uyoe, a historian of the Olympics, will speak about the history of the games, will show his video "Blacks and the Olympic Games: Contributions and Controversies," and answer your questions about this fascinating topic.

The Olympic Games have now become the single most visible sporting event of our time, evolving into a $6 Billion franchise. This presentation will discuss the contributions people of color have made in building the Olympics into the successful cultural phenomenon it is today.

Sunday, July 7th, 2013 at 3 p.m. - Historian Dr. William P. Marchione, who is at work on a history of Smyrna due for publication by The History Press this November, will present a slide/ lecture on "Smyrna, 1900 to 1930."

The 1900 to 1930 period was one of rapid growth as well as fundamental change for the town---a period that saw the beginnings of its transformation from an agricultural village into a fast-growing commuter suburb.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spring Reading List & Featured Book

Featured Book

A Long Way Down
by Nick Hornby

Other Recommended Reading Selections

A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan
A Week In Winter by Maeve Binchy
America the Beautiful by Ben Carson
Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
Cold Days by Jim Butcher
Collateral Damage by Stuart Woods
Coolidge by Amity Shlaes
Cross Roads by William Paul Young
Dream Eyes by Jane Ann Krentz
Ever After by Kim Harrison
Ghostman by Roger Hobbs
Guilt by Jonathan Kellerman
Hit Me by Lawrence Block
Insane City by Dave Barry
Kinsey and Me by Sue Grafton
Merry Christmas, Alex Cross by James Patterson
My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor
No Easy Day by Mark Owen
Private Berlin by James Patterson
Proof of Guilt by Charles Todd
Robert B. Parker’s Ironhorse by Robert Knott
See Now Then by Jamaica Kincaid
Speaking From Among the Bones by Alan Bradley
Suspect by Robert Crais
The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin 
The Black Box by Michael Connolly
The Blood Gospel 
by James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell
The Dinner by Herman Koch
The Fifth Assassin by Brad Meltzer
The Husband List 
by Janet Evanovich and Dorien Kelly
The Intercept by Dick Wolf
The Last Man by Vince Flynn
The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier
The Light between Oceans by M. L. Stedman
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
The Power Trip by Jackie Collins
The River Swimmer by Jim Harrison
The Third Bullet by Stephen Hunter
The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis
The World Until Yesterday by Jared Diamond
Threat Vector by Tom Clancy with Mark Greaney
Touch and Go by Lisa Gardner
Two Graves by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child 
Until the End of Time by Danielle Steele

Compiled by FOSL Volunteer

Friday, March 1, 2013

Time Is On Your Side by Mary Daudelin Opens In Art Gallery

My name is Mary Daudelin and I'm a painter. Not an artist – but a painter. If you were to meet me on the street and ask me, “Who are you?”, I would be more apt to answer you, “Math major and computer geek”. That's how I see myself. That's who I am inherently.

I'll be turning 60 this year and didn't start painting until my 40's. I had decided to enroll my daughter into Chris Didomizio's Old World Art class for some extracurricular activity to keep her busy. She said the only way she was going was if I went with her. Chris, being the person that he is, said I could stay with her as long as I did the exercises along with everyone else. So I bought some pencils and pastels and thought, “only for my daughter would I do this – I haven't an artistic bone in this body”.

Well, the way Chris teaches evidently caught hold of me, because when my daughter dropped out six weeks later, I was hooked and have been coloring, drawing, painting and occasionally water-coloring off and on ever since. He opened a whole new world to me that I didn't know existed. I had my first art show at Smyrna Library in the late 90's. I showed what I had at the time of my pencils and pastels. He strong-armed me into the oils class one day and I went kicking and screaming to Binder's to get the tubes/brushes/canvases he had on his list. I really didn't want to paint in oils – they scared me – and I loved pencils and pastels – you could erase the mistakes. Oh well, he knew best and I fell in love with oils and the Old World Master's techniques w/glazing that he taught us.

Anyway – he taught us using the Masters' as example. If we could learn to reproduce or get a feel as to what they had done, then it couldn't do anything but help us create better pictures of our own. I'm just now getting to where I paint what I want. The mistakes that you see here are all mine - the ones that work and you really like are probably the ones that follow the rules and the techniques that Chris has taught me . . .

Painting has been a life saver these past years – I've gone from working full-time for various communication's companies, getting my Master's overseas, being 'retired' when the economy took its dip, taking care of a mother through cancer treatments and then Alzheimer's, going through a recurrence of cancer myself, losing my two dogs of 16 years and, blessedly, having a new grand-baby! Being able to paint has seen me through these times and has transported me to a different place when I needed to escape.

I hope you enjoy them. If you want me to paint you up anything, give me a call. I tend to paint and give away to family and friends – but you can always become a friend if you can't afford the prices. Or better yet, learn how to paint yourself. Chris still is teaching after all these years, albeit over in Dunwoody and no longer in Vinings.I'll let you know if I ever get to the stage that I consider myself an artist - if that day ever comes, you'll be able to find me here at the library, yet again.

Mixed Media by Jackie Chapman Exhibit Opens In Display Gallery

I received my specialist degree from West Ga. College in special education in 1989 and retired in May 2005 after 29 years where I worked as a teacher, educational evaluator and program coordinator for Douglas County Schools. I have been married to Robert Chapman for 39 years and we have one daughter, Rebecca, who is married to our favorite son-in-law, Mitch.

I began exhibiting my crafts at shows in 1980. I’ve worked with many different types of crafts and media including tole painting, soft sculpture, sewing, and woodworking. I have always had a love of pottery. After taking classes from a dear friend, I purchased a kiln and some clay in 2000 and started on a journey that would be more fulfilling than any other media with which I have worked.

Each piece has its beginnings in a 25 lb. bag of stoneware clay and is hand built or hand thrown and then decorated with flowers, leaves, birds, frogs, turtles and glazes. My inspiration comes from nature, whimsy and just about anything that I come into contact with. My subconscious is always looking for a way to translate the things I see into pottery.

My pottery is a little different in that I bring a crafter’s background to the pieces that I make. I find it difficult to make a plain piece of pottery. It has to have something attached to it! I enjoy making pieces that are unusual in some way or bring a smile to your face.

Whether you’re browsing or would like to purchase a little something for yourself or a friend, I hope you receive as much pleasure from my work as I had in its making.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

FOSL Sponsors Black History Month Celebrations at Smyrna Public Library

The Smyrna Public Library will offer two exciting programs for children, families, and adults in celebration of Black History Month. Thanks to the generous donation and support from the Friends of the Smyrna Library, these programs are free of charge and are open to the public. No reservations are necessary to attend. Both programs will be held in the first floor meeting room of the Smyrna Public Library.

On Saturday, February 23rd, the library will host a storytelling program for children and families from 11:00 AM- 12:00 PM. The Cobb Cluster of the Southern Order of Storytellers, members of the Kuumba Storytellers, and the youth Tattle Tales group will be featured. Children and adults alike will share stories about notable African Americans and African dolls will be featured at the program as well. Storyteller Margaret Edinburgh says, "We can preserve our history by preserving the art of storytelling." These storytellers will educate and entertain while also paying homage to important figures in black history. Edinburgh will be joined by storytellers Esther Culver, Amy Johnson, and Mama Koku, as well as by several youth storytellers. This program will be fun for the whole family!

On Sunday, February 24th from 2:00-4:00 PM, the library will offer a special Black History Month program for adults featuring two speakers, Ms. Robin Washington Banks and Mr. Charles Black. This program, also sponsored by the Friends of the Smyrna Library, is open to the public and will offer light refreshments.

Ms. Robin Washington Banks, educator and author, is the great-granddaughter of Booker T. Washington and the daughter of a Tuskegee Airman. Her great-aunt was also one of the co-founders of Alpha Kappa Alpha, the first African American sorority. Ms. Washington Banks focuses on promoting the philosophies of her great grandfather. "It has become my life's work to keep my great grandfather's legacy alive by doing things that will draw attention to his philosophies and his work." Ms. Washington Banks' presentation, "Colors, Character and Choices," will include stories about her family and will highlight character as a powerful tool in bringing our diverse nation together in harmony.

Mr. Charles Black is a professional actor on stage, screen, radio, video and television, a Special Correspondent for The Atlanta Inquirer newspaper, and a community activist. Mr. Black served for many years on the Executive Committee of the Atlanta Branch of the NAACP of which he is a Life Member. While attending Morehouse College, Mr. Black was one of only eight students taught by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Mr. Black served as chairman of the Atlanta Student Movement in the 1960s, where he implemented the desegregation plan for lunch counters in Atlanta, negotiated desegregation of all theaters and movie houses in Atlanta and negotiated desegregation of Grady Hospital. He will focus on "Hidden Heroes of History" and will share his experiences as a civil rights figure in Atlanta.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

10th Murder Goes South Festival Held Today

The 10th Murder Goes South... a Festival of Readers and Writers of the Southern Mystery, was held today. FOSL thanks the writers, moderators, volunteers and attendees who made it a success.


TONY BURTON, writer, educator and publisher. His novels include Blinded by Darkness and A Wicked Good Play. He edited Seven by Seven and Crime and Suspense Anthology: 2005-2006.

LEE KELLY’s work in the medical and pharmaceutical industries was put to good use in her novel Vengeance in Blood.

BRANDON MASSEY, published his original novel Thunderland in 2002. He has since published a number of thrillers including The Other Brother, Twisted Tales, Dark Dreams and Covenant.

JOESEPH MORGAN, author of Blood Beneath My Feet: The Journey of a Southern Death Investigator, was Senior Investigator, Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office, Atlanta, GA for 14 years. He investigated 200 - 300 deaths per year.

MIRANDA PARKER, writes fun, feisty, redemptive stories about “bad girl” gone good. Her iconic character Kensington Dafina is featured in her comic romance suspense novels.

CHERYL RITZEL, works include Runner’s High and Beginner’s Luck. She is a teacher who is also pursuing a Private Investigator Certificate.

FRAN STEWART, a free-lance editor, has written many novels which include Violet as an Amethyst and A Slaying Song Tonight. Her mystery series, Biscuit McKee, is set in a small town in Georgia.

LESLIE TENTLER’s Midnight Caller is a finalist in the 2012 International Thriller Awards for Best First Novel. It is the first book in her Chasing Evil Trilogy.

JO ANN COOK is a Smyrna resident who has written short stories, poetry, children’s books and novels which includes her southern mystery, entitled Murder, Magnolias and Mansions.

KAREN KIRKPATRICK KENNEDY has been an active member of Sisters in Crime for many years. She has served as president, vice president, treasurer and more for the Atlanta Chapter. She has written several mysteries, has an agent she loves and respects, and looks forward to the day one of her books sells.

VR BARTKOWSKI is a native Californian now living in Atlanta. Winner of the 2012 Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ Colorado Gold for Mystery, and a finalist for both the 2012 Claymore and Daphne Du Maurier Awards, VR’s short fiction has appeared in Mysterical-E, Spinetingler, and Vine Leaves Literary Journal. At present she is researching her third novel while pondering a fourth. VR is a member of both Mystery Writers of America and Sisters-in-Crime.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Mary W. Moore Hired as Smyrna Public Library Director

The Smyrna City Council voted 7-0 last night to hire Mary W. Moore as Library Director.  She is replacing Library Director Michael Seigler who retired on December 28 after 18 years of service in that role.

Mary was the sole finalist for the position after a 6-month candidate search and extensive interviews. In joining the Smyrna Public Library she leaves her role as an award-winning adult services and reference library manager for the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library system in Huntsville, Alabama.

Please join the Friends of Smyrna Library in welcoming Mary to Smyrna!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Art Evokes Emotion by Kevin Rucker Opens In Art Gallery

"Ever since I can remember, I have always loved to draw. In one of my earliest memories as a child, I drew a 'friend' on the garage wall with green chalk. At a very early age, my mother encouraged me to create. In the summers of my youth, she would provide me with reams of notebook paper to draw on. My life has been devoted to art."

Kevin Rucker’s remarkable, imaginative illustrations have gained this award-winning Atlanta artist an enthusiastic following. By combining detailed 2-D and 3-D images with abstract concepts, Kevin creates illustrations that appeal to traditionalists and modernists alike. As Kevin says, "Art evokes emotion. When I am creating, I am at my best."

Originally from New York, Kevin began his formal art education with a degree in Commercial Design and then went on to earn his Bachelor of Science degree (with a minor in Visual Arts) from the State University of New York at New Paltz. After moving to Atlanta in 1997, Kevin earned a degree in Computer Animation from the Art Institute of Atlanta, achieving many honors as a student. He was then invited to join the faculty as a 2-D and 3-D animation instructor.

Kevin went on to a distinguished career as a Graphic Artist, Illustrator, and Creative Director. The quality and creativity of his work has attracted numerous public and private commissions, with past clients including Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, and Visa.

As an artist, Kevin has won numerous excellence awards and produced illustrations that have had global influence. Working as a commercial designer for over 20 years has now afforded him the opportunity to pursue his creative passions full-time. Kevin reflects:

"...I have considered myself extremely lucky to have had such talented and patient art teachers and invaluable opportunities to make a living doing what I love. I feel very privileged that God has given me such a gift. Of course, I give Him all the credit."

In addition to his expertise in illustration and graphic arts, Kevin Rucker is an avid woodworker and accomplished 3-D mural artist.