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.


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.


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.