What’s Happening at the Library: Art varieties on display

By John Maruskin

Clark County Public Library

Local weaver and sock doll artist Annette Wagner has filled the Clark County Public Library lobby display cases with two dioramas that will positively tickle you with joy.

They are, in my opinion, the BEST lobby displays ever, colorful, funny and superbly composed.

Wagner makes dolls using brightly colored remnants from a zero-waste sock manufacturing company that sends her leftover knit fabrics. The sock patterns are joyous. When assembled into an elephant, unicorn, beaver, rabbit, or purely imaginary being, the result is magical.

No kidding, these dolls are alive. In the campsite diorama (complete with felted fire) the animals-beings listen with wild-eyed excitement to the “Tale of Peter Rabbit” read by a tricorn? (A unicorn has one horn, this wondrous being has three.) In the other display, a gremlin (?) has launched him- or herself into the sky (complete with fluffy cloud) while another (maybe rabbit?) reads a Peanuts book.

When you look at the flower garden diorama, notice the bench on the left side. While creating the scene, Wagner felt she needed a bench. Riding home from the library, she saw a pile of sticks by the side of the road, picked them up and created the bench when she got home. That’s found art.

Brings your kids, grandkids, friends and family in to see the dioramas. They will spark up your day. They will pluck your glee string. You’ve never seen a display like this at the library. Do not miss it.

After you’ve marveled in the lobby, head into the library and go all the way back to the reference section where Joan Wise has created another art and craft installation with handmade quilts, baskets, paintings, drawings, pillows, a purse and a stool with a rag rug top.

Wise transformed the reference reading area into a delightful study. Sit down on one of the reading chairs or on the padded window bench and enjoy some quality time enjoying her creations.

Among the artworks are a luminous seascape, a touching Nativity scene and a charming wren house duplex, a simple wren box with an old spigot for a perch and a cup hanging from a hook for a second wren residence.

Wise’s drawing and painting style is all her own. She says she started drawing from the funny papers when she was a child, and you can see the influence of illustration, but with a lot of soul and a lot of love for what she sees.

Come to the library and enjoy work by two of the most talented artists in Clark County.

There will be a yoga on the library lawn class at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 12. A Clark County Wellness Challenge event, join local yoga instructor Cindy Reed for an hour of yoga breathing and stretching. It is a wonderful way to start the day and energize your weekend.

In case of rain or cold weather, this event will be inside the Old Carnegie Library on the College Park Campus. For more details contact Clark County Parks and Recreation at 744-9554.

Clark County writer Debbie Hatfield is the featured author for the library’s writer series at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. Hatfield is writing a wonderful novel about a girl growing up in Prohibition-era Eastern Kentucky. She will talk about the research and interviews she has done to bring her characters and their surroundings to life.

— Wednesday, Kentucky Picture Show presents a one of the best: (1951) In Africa during World War I, a gin-swilling riverboat captain is persuaded by a straight-laced missionary to use his boat to attack an enemy warship.

— Wednesday at 7 p.m., Engine House Pizza Pub habitués let their pizza get cold as they try to guess Jeff Gurnees trivia challenges.

— At 10 a.m. Friday, Write Local. Writing with friendly writers is a lot of fun.

After the Kentucky Derby, your best bet is the library.

John Maruskin is director of adult services at the Clark County Public Library. He can be reached at john.clarkbooks@gmail.com.