Jemison Library receives unexpected donation at Art Show

Published 4:47 pm Monday, November 21, 2022

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By JOYANNA LOVE | Managing Editor

It was a celebration of the community’s creativity at the Jemison Library art show on Nov. 20.

Originally, set to be in the library’s garden, the event was moved indoors to the Jemison Rescue building due to cold temperatures.

The event showcased artwork and crafts from library programs and personal artwork by art program teacher Beatriz Ragazzoni. The event became the catalyst for more programming as attendee Rep. Russell Bledsoe (District 49) with Rep. Van Smith (District 42) presented $1,300 toward the library continuing programs.

The funds were from what the legislature has available to distribute as grants. The amount came as a surprise to the library staff.

Cheryl English of the Jemison Library said grants like this and a donation from the United Way have enabled the library to keep the classes low or no cost.

“We have been so very blessed,” English said.

Attendees browsed the displays, enjoyed light refreshments and talked to Ragazzoni about her classes and her work.

Ragazzoni said she has enjoyed seeing the talent of those in the community come to light and helping adults develop their talents.

“I have met people who have the real intention of being a part of the community and that is very special,” Ragazzoni said.

Ragazzoni is passionate about passing on skills to others, especially those who are younger.

“For me, this (teaching art) is very meaningful because what I learned I don’t want to keep it to (myself),” Ragazzoni said.

She wants to share what she has learned.

English said the library classes aim “to help our community come together as a group and … to learn new things.”

In addition to painting classes, the library has hosted classes in woodturning, macramé and a sewing group. English said each class was possible because of community members being willing to volunteer their time to teach.

English said the library was also thankful to the city for its support.

Tammie McGriff of the Jemison Library said offering art and craft opportunities had started with children during the story hour, then classes were expanded to adults.

“We have so many of these programs that touch each other,” McGriff said, commenting that the sewing group made special pillows that will be given to the children that the library is securing Christmas gifts for through its Angel Tree.

English said they hope to hold showcase events like the art show again in the future.