Sunday, December 3, 2017

Successful LEGO Show and Fundraiser Held

The Smyrna Public Library hosted a 2-day Lego Show and fundraiser with DixieLUG this weekend. Almost 200 attendees enjoyed trains, detailed buildings, winter scenes and more. LEGO fans of all ages were inspired by the things they can build with plastic bricks. Proceeds of ticket sales ($5 individual / $10 family) will support activities sponsored by the Friends of Smyrna Library. 


DixieLUG is a LEGO® user group for adult fans of LEGO® in the Atlanta metro with a primary focus on socialization, sharing, and collaboration of the LEGO® hobby. DixieLUG members come together every other month for club meetings, and participate in several public displays and events each year. Find them at: Facebook.com/dixielug and www.dixielug.club.

The Friends of Smyrna Library are a support organization for Smyrna Public Library. They provide volunteers, publicity and fundraising for the Library to purchase extra books, supplies and programming for the Smyrna community. Visit them at www.friendsofsmyrnalibrary.org.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Paper & Acrylics by Matt Blodgett Opens at Smyrna Public Library Art Gallery

The November/December 2017 Art Gallery exhibit has opened – Paper & Acrylics by Matt Blodgett.  Mr. Blodgett’s exhibit concludes on December 31. The Art Gallery is located on the 2nd floor of the Smyrna Library. The Art Gallery exhibits are sponsored by the Friends of Smyrna Library.

Artist Statement:

Matt Blodgett grew up on a rural Ohio farm, immersed in the beauty of plants and the creative energy of nature. Even in high school Matt showed great creative talent and artistic aptitude, winning a statewide student art competition with "Indian Princess," a mixed media collage with handmade paper and copper. The piece hung in the Ohio Governor's Mansion for one year.

Matt majored in Horticulture and Landscape Design at Ohio State University. Moving to Atlanta after college and working with some of the top landscape companies in the South Matt developed a keen sense for composition and texture. After more than 20 years in that industry he has now shifted his attention to his first and deepest calling, Fine Art, working primarily in collage, handmade and cut paper, and acrylic media.

He has shown at several Atlanta Art Fairs, including twice at Callanwolde Art Center, and has pieces in private collections from Los Angeles to Washington, DC. to New York City.

He is very happy to have the opportunity for this solo show, particularly because the library setting highlights the potential for the expressive use of paper (both handmade and cut paper) in ways that reach beyond its common use as simply a vehicle for the printed word.

Metalworks by Mike Sluder Opens at Smyrna Public Library Display Gallery

The November/December 2017 Display Gallery exhibit has opened – Metalworks by Mike Sluder.  Mr. Sluder’s exhibit concludes on December 31. The Display Gallery is located on the 2nd floor of the Smyrna Library. The Display Gallery exhibits are sponsored by the Friends of Smyrna Library.

Artist Statement:
You are most likely to find artist Mike Sluder in welding leathers, elbow-deep in sand or brandishing a blow torch. As one of the country’s notable metal artists, Mike has made a name for himself by creating breathtaking and sophisticated metal art from gritty, industrial beginnings.

Mike was formally trained in sculpture under internationally recognized artists at East Carolina University, where he earned his B.F A. in 2006. He has worked at two leading fine art bronze foundries, overseeing the Metal Shop and serving as Patina Specialist. Mike currently lives in Atlanta and creates custom art for individual collectors and corporate clients, including The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. He is best known for his bronze vessels and copper wall hangings, both noted for uniting inspired vision with enduring materials. 

Mike’s art has been featured in the Museum of Design Atlanta as well as in national and international exhibitions and publications.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Cuban Oils & Acrylics by Nieves Diaz Lewis Opens at Smyrna Public Library Art Gallery

The September/October 2017 Art Gallery exhibit has opened – Cuban Oils & Acrylics by Nieves Diaz Lewis.  His exhibit concludes on August 31. The Art Gallery is located on the 2nd floor of the Smyrna Library. The Art Gallery exhibits are sponsored by the Friends of Smyrna Library.

Artist Statement:

By the mere fact of contemplating the paintings of Nieves, the spectator becomes aware that language is not necessary to express feelings. His paintings are full of color and energy. His style is expressionist and surreal at the same time, like a colorful and joyful fantasy. Nieves was born in Remates de Guane, province of Pinar del Río, Cuba. He worked for a time in Havana, and finally in 1959 he settled in the United States.


The combination of his Cuban upbringing and his life in southern North America has given him a unique point of view that comes to light on his canvases. Some of his themes reflect his childhood in the family farm in Cuba. Others emerge from their travels abroad and the impressions these journeys have left imprinted on the "creative mind's eye." Nieves is not limited to a single medium and has worked with pen and ink, acrylic, watercolor, oil and metal sheets. Nieves' paintings have won numerous prizes at various sworn exhibitions and are represented in public and private collections in the United States, Europe and South America. The artist has shown her work in galleries and art exhibitions in the USA. And Europe.

Clay, Oil & Acrylics by Steve Stoichev Opens at Smyrna Public Library Display Gallery

The September/October 2017 Display Gallery exhibit has opened – Clay, Oil & Acrylics By Steve Stoichev.  Mr. Stoichev’s exhibit concludes on October 31. The Display Gallery is located on the 2nd floor of the Smyrna Library. The Display Gallery exhibits are sponsored by the Friends of Smyrna Library.

Artist Statement:

From a very early age Steve Stoichev's life has been connected with art. At 4 years old he had his first exhibit at his preschool, displaying clay figurines. That was the beginning. Throughout his schooling he began to paint and provided his art to many different community and school exhibits. Throughout the 1980's he concentrated on fashion design, and in 1989 he founded his own fashion design company where he designed and created high-end unique wearable art and accessories. After over 10 years in the fashion business, Steve returned to his first artistic loves and is realizing an old new dream.

Since that time, he has presented his paintings and sculptures in community exhibits in the Atlanta area starting with a 2006 solo show titled “Exhibit of Impressionism”. In 2008 he returned home to Europe for another solo impressionist paintings exhibit . Since then he creates and shows award-winning art through various community and national exhibits. Steve’s current interests alternate between design and creation of sculpture, jewelry and paintings. His sculpture and jewelry are inspired by his heritage and by the artifacts found in Thracian, Greek, and Roman archeological excavations, all of which evoke in him and his art a sense of mysticism and timelessness. His experiences with sculpture and fashion have influenced his painting style. He creates textured and brightly colorful modern or impressionistic paintings that are pleasing both to the sense of touch and to the sense of sight. Steve currently lives in Smyrna, GA with his wife and three children. He is a member of The Society of Sliven Artists and the South Cobb Art Alliance.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Japanese Rice Paper Collage and Raku by Sheila Giddens Opens at Smyrna Public Library Display Gallery

The July/August 2017 Display Gallery exhibit has opened – Japanese Rice Paper Collage and Raku by Sheila Giddens.  Ms. Giddens’s exhibit concludes on August 31. The Display Gallery is located on the 2nd floor of the Smyrna Library. The Display Gallery exhibits are sponsored by the Friends of Smyrna Library.

Artist Statement:

Sheila Giddens began her art in ernest by studying the Yamazaki Technique of Japanese Rice Paper Collage under Mr. Yamazaki's daughter, Ruriko, during the early 1980's. She moved to Atlanta in 1989, continuing to perfect her rice paper collages. In 1992, she expanded upon this form with another Japanese technique of art for making hand built pottery and jewelry. This form of art is known as "Raku". She studied the Raku art form with Karen Beswick and later clay sculpture with Peg Schmid and Kelly Thames. She has since extended her art work into colored pencils, studying under Joe belt, Vera Curnow, Meredith Rambo and Janie Gildow. Most of her art involves some form of wildlife which was introduced early in her life by her father.


Sheila has been a member of the South Cobb Arts Alliance since 1989 and an active board member since 1990. She has held several offices in the South Cobb Arts Alliance, including president from 1994 to 1996. She also recently had the honor of being selected as their 1999 "Volunteer of the Year".

Monday, May 1, 2017

Silicone, Latex & Caulk Mixed Media by Brandon Marshall Opens at Smyrna Public Library Art Gallery

The May to August 2017 Art Gallery exhibit has opened – Silicone, Latex & Caulk Mixed Media by Brandon Marshall.  Mr. Marshall’s exhibit concludes on August 31. The Art Gallery is located on the 2nd floor of the Smyrna Library. The Art Gallery exhibits are sponsored by the Friends of Smyrna Library.

Artist Statement:

It is incredible to look back and appreciate how a leaky shower changed my life. Armed with the blind confidence of new independence and two tubes of mismatched caulking, I fixed my first leak in my first apartment. As the caulking curdled and dried along the shower's unforgiving fault lines, I couldn't help but find beauty in the simplicity of its shape and texture. I was intrigued, and decided to add color to the equation. Using crude pieces of found scrap-wood as canvas, I began to experiment and create, employing dyed-caulking as my medium. Plastic lids, bubble wrap, beer caps and an ever growing assortment of found objects began to creep onto my canvases. 

As I continued to work in the film industry I realized the amount of waste that was produced, especially the waste of wood. I soon started to create my works on set walls discarded after a movie was finished. Eventually, my small living room morphed into a home gallery, and I became numb with the realization that I finally knew who I was and what I loved. What started as the inconvenience of a leaky shower, progressed into the inner awakening and ignition of passion that drives me to this day.

Humbly influenced by the brilliant works of Jackson Pollock, Gerhard Richter, and Mark Bradford I strive to unite the anonymity of the abstract with the raw power of reflective association. Everything is relative; and what's found woven within the thick layers of life's strata serves as innate inspiration. I prefer to work big, with no visible frame, and avoid the boundaries of the immediately recognizable.

Pine and Glass Creations by Randy Alhanti and Linda Prater Opens at Smyrna Public Library Display Gallery

The May/June 2017 Display Gallery exhibit has opened – Pine and Glass Creations by Randy Alhanti and Linda Prater.  Ms. Giddens’s exhibit concludes on June 30. The Display Gallery is located on the 2nd floor of the Smyrna Library. The Display Gallery exhibits are sponsored by the Friends of Smyrna Library.

Monday, March 6, 2017

FIRST SUNDAY LECTURE: New Photographic Acquisitions: The SACC History Committee Historical Images Project

Yesterday’s program at the Smyrna Public Library was narrated by local historian Dr. Bill Marchione and photographer Charlie Stannard.

Arts & Cultural Council (SACC), has been at work for several months now and has assembled a huge collection of previously untapped  historical images, mostly drawn from the pages of the old Smyrna Herald and Smyrna Neighbor, weekly newspapers published between 1962 and 1994, and from other sources as well. 

These photos are being deposited in a topically organized historical file that already contains about 1500 images. The more than 100 images were organized around 16 themes in local history and presented today.  This, it is hoped, will be the first of a series of such programs featuring the photos.  

The First Sunday Lecture series is sponsored monthly by the Friends of Smyrna Library and Smyrna Library.

Photo: Belmont Hill Shopping Center, circa 1954. When it opened on Atlanta Road it was the largest shopping center in the southeastern US. From the collection of Bill Marchione.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Mixed Media by Kelly Ayers Sheehan Opens at Smyrna Public Library Art Gallery

The March/April art gallery exhibit for 2017 has opened - Mixed Media by Kelly Ayers Sheehan.  Ms. Sheehan’s exhibit is on display until April 30. The art gallery is located on the 2nd floor of the Smyrna Library. The art gallery exhibits are sponsored by the Friends of Smyrna Library.

Biography:

I'm originally from Virginia, just outside of Washington. D.C. where art and creativity were strongly encouraged at home. My love of collage and "bringing the pieces together" began at an early age with quilting and sewing with my mother and grandmother. I attended Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, Georgia; George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia (B.A.) and Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia (M.S.). I've spent over twenty years working as a graphic designer and an interactive media designer while continuing to pursue my love of fine art in painting and collage.

Five years ago, I decided to pursue fine art full time. I work in my home studio and have been an exhibitor and sold art in shows close to home as well as in shows like the New York Art Expo. I draw inspiration from traveling with my family and friends, as well as from music and festive gatherings. I currently live in Decatur, Georgia with my husband and four children.

"When I decided to pursue my passion for the fine arts, there was a natural transition from graphic design to collage. As a graphic designer, just like quilting, I used various design elements (in this case text and images) and moved them around within design software before creating a finished piece. Now I take physical pieces of painted, cut paper, fabric, etc. and move them around on a physical canvas, experimenting with how it looks until finally adhering the pieces to the canvas. I love the element of surprise; how things come alive on the canvas when you least expect it."

Doll Collection by Suzanne Kelly Opens at Smyrna Public Library Display Gallery

The March/April display gallery exhibit for 2017 has opened - Doll Collection by Suzanne Kelly. Ms. Kelly’s exhibit is on display until April 30. The display gallery is located on the 2nd floor of the Smyrna Library. The display gallery exhibits are sponsored by the Friends of Smyrna Library.

Biography:

My love and appreciation of dolls started in the 1950s with my first doll, Cindy. She is a large, life-like baby doll dressed in her original clothes who used to cry, “Mama,” when gently laid down in her cradle. Then I remember other much loved dolls; a princess doll, a bride doll and Tiny Tears who cried real tears and wet when she drank from her bottle. My little Ginny doll included clothes and accessories for all occasions. She came from The Play Box, our local toy shop in the Tuxedo-Buckhead area. Thanks to my mother, Mary Beth Kelly, my dolls were saved in the attic during high school and college years.

The dolls were forgotten until I spent three summers in the 1970s in Chautauqua (upstate New York). There I collected, in earnest, many “Yankee” dolls at estate sales and auctions as they were very plentiful and reasonably priced.

Later in the mid-80s, I started and owned a toy shop in Woodstock, Georgia, called Cherecobb Toy Book and Hobby. I carried a line of expensive Lissi dolls from West Germany and a line of Italian newborn dolls that looked, felt and smelled like a real baby. Also during that time my parents retired to cruise and travel the world and the USA, always bringing me a doll from their trip. Thus, my doll collection really began to grow!

From the 1980s to the present, I have continued my doll collecting by finding unique dolls at estate sales, antique sales, antique stores and thrift shops. My friend and penpal from Finland, Leena, has also sent me several traditional Finnish dolls over the years. Also my sister-in-law, Cheryl, has lovingly given me several Madame Alexander dolls from her aunt and grandmother’s collection.

My doll collection is now outgrowing their cabinet so I am happy to share them with the Smyrna Library. Doll collecting is a fun and rewarding hobby that really tells my life’s story in miniature. I hope you will enjoy my collection.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

FIRST SUNDAY LECTURE: A Brief History of the Temperance and Prohibition Movements in Cobb County and Vicinity

Today local historian Dr. William P. Marchione, Ph.D. presented a slide show and lecture on the history of Temperance and Prohibition in the Cobb County area. Georgia was the very first state to embrace prohibition in the 20th century, doing so in 1908 a decade ahead of the 18th amendment; and Cobb County strongly supported the initiative. 

This lecture examined the interplay of cultural, economic, religious, and political forces that made the anti-liquor crusade the most sustained controversy in the area's political history. Dr. Marchione also discussed bootlegging and speakeasy operations in the area. This is a topic that has been largely neglected by Cobb County historians. Additionally, he offered possible explanations as to why this topic has received such scant attention.


The First Sunday Lecture series is sponsored by the Friends of Smyrna Library and Smyrna Library.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic and Medicine Program Began Today

Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic and Medicine travelling exhibit opened today at the Smyrna Library and runs through March 3.

The display uses materials from the National Library of Medicine to take a look at how those practices (of the Renaissance, not of people who travel through fireplaces) helped shape Western sciences like alchemy, astrology and natural philosophy.

In 1997, British author, J. K. Rowling introduced the world to Harry Potter and a literary phenomenon was born. Millions of readers have followed Harry to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry where he discovers his heritage, encounters new plants and animals, and perfects his magical abilities.

Although a fantasy story, the magic in the Harry Potter books is partially based on Renaissance traditions that played an important role in the development of Western science, including alchemy, astrology, and natural philosophy. Incorporating the work of several 15th- and 16th-century thinkers, the seven-part book series examines important ethical topics such as the desire for knowledge, the effects of prejudice, and the responsibility that comes with power. This exhibition, using materials from the National Library of Medicine, explores Harry Potter's world and its roots in Renaissance magic, science, and medicine.

ACTIVITIES & EVENTS:
- Earn a Certificate of Magical Thinking (open to ages 4 through 104)

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry has chosen Smyrna Public Library as their latest campus for the Extension and Outreach Program for Muggles. Earn 5 credit hours by March 4, and you will receive a Certificate of Magical Thinking and a wand from Ollivander’s Surplus Wand Supply for Muggles. Pick up a curriculum at the Front Desk.

- Harry Potter Game Day

Sunday, January 29, 2017
1:00-5:00 p.m.
Smyrna Library, Meeting Room


Join us for Harry Potter-themed card games, board games, and puzzles. What a great way to celebrate International Puzzle Day!

- Care & Feeding of Magical Creatures
Saturday, March 4, 2017
2:00-3:00 p.m.
Smyrna Library, Meeting Room

Learn about reptiles as well as their biology, their habitat, and their place in the food web. View a live snake and enjoy a snake craft. Event sponsored by the Friends of Smyrna Library.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

FIRST SUNDAY LECTURE: The Cherokee Removal

Our guest speaker today for the First Sunday Lecture was Dr. George R. Lamplugh.  His presentation was entitled "The News from Cherokee Country: Elias Boudinot, and the Cherokee Phoenix, 1828-1839". 

Dr. Lamplugh reviewed the Cherokee removal controversy in Georgia through the eyes of Mr. Boudinot and the columns of the Cherokee Phoenix, the newspaper he founded and edited for most of its existence at the behest of Principal Chief John Ross and the Cherokee National Council.

The First Sunday Lecture series is sponsored by the Friends of Smyrna Library and Smyrna Library.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Oils & Acrylics by Katina Johnson Opens at Smyrna Public Library Art Gallery

The January/February art gallery exhibit for 2017 has opened - Oils & Acrylics by Katina Johnson.  Ms. Johnson’s exhibit is on display until February 28. The art gallery is located on the 2nd floor of the Smyrna Library. The art gallery exhibits are sponsored by the Friends of Smyrna Library.

Artist Statement:

Painting again! After many years of caring for a family and teaching, I am glad to return to my painting.  A palette of colors gives me the opportunity to try and capture nature’s glory on a sheet of blank paper or canvas.

The escape of creative expression thru art has long been a lifesaver for me. Here in central Kentucky, the beauty of nature is present every day to inspire me. Although I studied art during my years at UK and WKU, the time and passion for painting  have now returned to my life bringing a rewarding dimension.

Having time to paint with friends, participating in the  MC Arts Council, Girl Scouts, baby-sit grandchildren, and teaching art are my daily  pleasures.

Previous shows:


Art Over Louisville, Artemisia 2009
KY State Fair 2009, 2010, 2011
Smithsonian Exhibit/Art Show 2012
Marion County Ham Days Festival 2014,’15,’16
Wickland Art Show 2013, ’14.’15,’16   

Sculpture & Pottery by David Waltz Opens at Smyrna Public Library Display Gallery

The January/February display gallery exhibit for 2017 has opened - Sculpture & Pottery by David Waltz.  Mr. Waltz’s exhibit is on display until February 28. The display gallery is located on the 2nd floor of the Smyrna Library. The display gallery exhibits are sponsored by the Friends of Smyrna Library.

Biography:

I decided to become an artist in high school. After completing my BA at EKU and teaching for several years, I completed my Master’s at Marshall University. Then having taught art in Maryland for 32 years, I retired to Kentucky. It is wonderful to create art almost every day, go biking, go fishing, or garden, whenever I want.

Since returning to Kentucky in 2001, I have juried into the Kentucky Craft Market and the Kentucky Guild and participated in many local shows. Presently, I am exhibiting, meeting wholesale orders, and doing shows.

I design functional and decorative stoneware pottery, as well as create a wide range of figurative sculptures. When I am not wrapped up in producing my art, I enjoy traveling and biking. My desire for adventure, I have found, can be shared through art expression.  


Previous Shows:
KY Crafted Market 2012,’13,’14,’15,’16
Kentucky Guild Fall Show 2014,’15
St James Court Art Fair 2015, KY State Fair 2012,’13,’14,’16
Art in Speed Park, Sellersburg, IN 2012,’13,’14,’16
Kentucky Artisan Center, Berea. KY   2012,’13’,14’,15’,’16