Art comes alive at Goshen exhibit
GOSHEN — Art comes in many forms and draws people together, which is what has been happening at the Olive G. Pettis Library in Goshen for the third annual Art at the Library exhibit since Jan. 21, celebrating art by local students from Goshen, Newport and Lempster as well as some Ukrainian students.
A closing reception was held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 4, with more than 50 people in attendance, which tallied up to 100 visitors for the duration of the exhibit.
The second-grade collection from Richards Elementary School featured painted scenes on fabric, inspired by the book Tar Beach by Faith Ringold, which they had recently read.
The pictures were arranged in the pattern of a quilt as Ringold was also a quilter and an artist in addition to being an author.
At the fireplace in the library, art from the Lempster Community School was arranged as well as around the room.
The third and fourth-grade students had baked clay cookies at Christmastime, which were displayed with placements made of construction paper by the kindergarten class.
Six-year old Haley Reed of Lempster, a student at the school, proudly declared she had designed one of the placements. She pointed out her creation to her three-year old sister Zoey and checked out what fellow students had made.
They are the daughters of Christopher and Amy Reed. Their mother had brought them to the library where they enjoyed viewing all the artwork and the treats with other children. Grandmother Diana Reed stopped in to join them.
“I like art class,” Haley Reed revealed. “I like doing different things and I really like painting.”
Also included in the collection from Lempster were paper plates decorated with bright shades of tissue paper to complete the place settings for a table. These were made by the first and second-graders, with the artwork inspired by The Dinner Party, by the artist Judy Chicago.
“I picked the most colorful artwork and the projects the kids had a lot of fun with,” said Lempster Community School art teacher Colleen O’Connor.
“It’s great to have this art exhibit here and it’s good for the students to see other artwork and get ideas,” she continued. “The students were so proud and excited when I told them that I had chosen their artwork.”
Self-portrait collages were made by all grades, with magazine cutouts and scrap paper. The students had the option of choosing another “identity,” such as a different person or an animal as long as there was a reason behind it.
“It really turned into a humorous project and we had a lot of laughs,” O’Connor remarked.
The Ukrainian artwork was part of a traveling art exhibit from the Fermata Arts Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Avon, Conn. The exhibit goes to libraries that have chosen to participate.
The foundation gathers art from various countries to promote peace and understanding through the forum of art. It operates programs from Ukraine, Bulgaria, Latvia, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, the Russian Federation and the country of Georgia.
“I look forward to the annual art exhibit and sharing it with local kids,” stated Goshen librarian Cynthia Reardon Phillips.
“They can see from the art of other countries that ideas are the same no matter where we live,” she added.
Photographs of black and white drawings by the Ukrainian students expressed unique interpretations of American sci-fi.
Phillips was very pleased at the turnout for the closing reception and is already looking forward to next year’s show.
“This is like a cultural center for Goshen and there is something here for all ages,” she commented. “We support the senior community and young families and to pull in kids from all communities.”
The library has two adult book groups, offers two pre-school story times on the first and third Thursdays, Books Before Bed and Story Circle for which older siblings also join in.
The library hosts a program called, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) Powered Kids, which runs on second and fourth Thursdays and involves a variety of activities.
The library also offers enrichment classes throughout the year, which have included organic soap making, felt appliqué and digital photography to name a few. Humanities programs are also offered throughout the year.
“It is a small tight circle in the area and we want to be able to reach out to each other and for each other,” said Phillips.
The Olive G. Pettis Memorial Library is located on Route 10 in Goshen and can be reached at 863-6921