Thursday, September 11, 2014

TPH To Participate In Hiddenite Festival, September 27!

TPH teens had their first meeting of the 2014-15 school year at Reformation Lutheran Church's fellowship hall on Tuesday, September 9. They created poetic images for a TPH poem to be included in the 6th edition of The Alexander Muse teen art and literary magazine.  They also designed a creative sign for the Hiddenite Festival to share the vision of our super creative group.

Teen Poetry Happens is honored to be asked to take part in the Hiddenite Center Celebration of the Arts Festival on Saturday, September 27 in Hiddenite.  Creative teens, TPH's Ms. Is, yours truly, and a poetry wall will be located in the Art in Action section of the festival.

There, festival goers will be asked to jot down images of the festival on the poetry wall.  The whole collection of images will be taken and a poem crafted by the teen poets at their October meeting. That meeting will take place at the Lucas Mansion of The Hiddenite Center.  The poem will be dedicated to the festival and a promotional video created.

All ages are invited to share favorite memories of past festivals or the current festival. Please stop by and see us! 

The 2015 edition of The Alexander Muse is now accepting art, photography, poetry, and short story prose works to be considered for the magazine.  Any high school student whose residence is in Alexander County is eligible to enter, regardless of educational institution. Teens may enter as many items in as many categories as they wish, but may only win in one category.

Feel free to contact me at Alexander County Library if you have any questions or wish to be involved in our fun activities!


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Recycled Art Show Ends Fizz Boom READ Creatively!

Alexander County Library had a wonderful turnout for their Recycled/Re-Purposed Art Show on Saturday, July 26 at the library.  This was the final all inclusive program event for Fizz Boom READ, the summer reading program. Patrons were amazed at the creativity used to create the 31 artworks on display.  The art contest was open to all Alexander County residents. 

Take a look at the awesome works that were submitted!

5 age divisions were juried – Adult, High School, Middle School, Elementary, and Preschool. Prizes were given to the top artwork in each division.

Recipients were:
Preschool Division – Carson Millsaps, son of Adam and Natalie Millsaps of Taylorsville, for “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” made from an egg carton.  Carson received 5 free Happy Meals from McDonald’s of Taylorsville provided by the restaurant.

Elementary Division – Evie Daniels, daughter of Mandy Norton of Taylorsville, for “Computer (FaceBook)”made from a Giovanni’s takeout box.  Ironically, Evie received a $20 gift certificate for Giovanni’s provided by the restaurant.

Middle School Division – Stephen “Alex” Pardue, son of Stephen Pardue of Taylorsville, for “Enlightened Roses” created with a light bulb, newspaper roses, and a coat hanger. Alex received 2 free Village Inn pizza buffets and drinks from Village Inn of Taylorsville.

High School Division – Sarah Johnson, daughter of Paul and Lisa Johnson of Bethlehem, for “Wonderland Dreams” created from various recycled items such as broken glass, tin foil, an old doll, even an old music box. Sarah received a $20 gift card from Mexico Viejo provided by the Taylorsville restaurant.

Adult Division – Bud Caywood of Bethlehem for “The Killing Field” created from “’road carnage’ found at the intersection of NC Highway 127 South and US 321 South in Mountain View, Catawba County.” Caywood’s disturbing piece reminds the viewer that “automobiles are killing machines” and “we are surrounded by a killing field.” Caywood received 2 dinner theatre tickets for any Hiddenite Center show within the next year provided by the center.

A Best In Show prize - a free one year membership for The Hiddenite Center provided by The Hiddenite Center – was determined by patron vote. “Enlightened Roses” by Stephen “Alex” Pardue was named Best in Show.

A free hot dog cookout, sponsored by Alexander Friends of the Library, followed the exhibition.

Judges for the contest were: Leslie Newton of Hickory, a portrait painter specializing in pet portraits; and Laurie Childres of Hickory, owner of Carolina Classical Glass, whose art objects are many times created from recycled/re-purposed items.  Contact Mel Hager at the library if you would like more information about these artist judges.

Alexander County Library thanks all of the artists for their entries.  They would also like to thank The Hiddenite Center, Mexico Viejo, Ray Lackey Enterprises and Village Inn, Giovanni’s of Taylorsville, McDonald’s of Taylorsville, Mays Meats, Food Lion, and Kenny Arnold for their donations.   Thanks also to the Town of Taylorsville for the use of picnic tables.

Programs could not be held without volunteer assistance.  The library wishes to thank Alexander Friends of the Library Larry and Kathy Riddle, Brenda McRae, and Dave Baseler for cooking and serving the hot dog lunch.  Also, thanks to teen volunteers Katie Austin, Ally Bebber, Marcos Cazares, Courtney Gant, Allison Hager, and Meilin Tan for their assistance to set up and take down the show.

August is Art Appreciation Month and all works will be displayed at the library for the month. Stop by Alexander County Library and check them out – so to speak.

Have a great rest of your summer!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Alexander Co. Library Recycled Art Show Taking Submissions Thursday, July 24 – Exhibition, Hot Dog Lunch July 26

Catawba County artist, Gene DeMaegd, recycled old CDs to create this piece. 

Alexander County Library thanks Mr. DeMaegd for his recycled art demonstrations.

Have you ever thought about what you can do with your trash besides throw it away?  Alexander County Library challenges you to create art with it!  The final big event for Fizz Boom READ, the summer reading program, will be an art show of recycled or repurposed items. 

Any items that could be thrown away can be used - items such as leftover buttons from a shirt, beads from a broken necklace, soda cans, or bottles. The only limit is your imagination.  The artwork must be in good taste to be viewed by the general public. Please do not use perishable items. 

There will be 5 age divisions juried – Adult, High School, Middle School, Elementary, and Preschool. Prizes will be given to the top artwork in each division. A best of show prize - a free one year membership for The Hiddenite Center - will be determined by patron vote.

The art event will be Saturday, July 26 beginning at 10 am at the main library in Taylorsville followed by a hot dog cookout.  Visitors will get to vote for their favorite art piece. The final event is sponsored by Alexander Friends of the Library.

The art contest is open to all Alexander County residents.  Only one artwork may be submitted per resident.  Please deliver your masterpiece to Alexander County Library and fill out an entry form on Thursday, July 24 any time between 9 am and 7 pm.

August is Art Appreciation Month and all works will be displayed at the library, win or not, for the month. For more information call me at the library at 828-632-4058.

Hope to see your work in our show!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Community - How Brenda Austin Childers' Picture Book Took A Village To Make

Brenda Austin Childers' dream to write a children's book came to fruition at preschool storytimes at Alexander County Library on June 3 and June 6!  Her book, Rowdy The Runaway Pony, is an easy read tale illustrated by one of my teen library participants, Jessica Ferretiz.  Jessica also illustrated my book, Ms. Mel's Wide Mouth Frog

Dale Clary of Carris Reels, author Brenda Austin Childers, and illustrator, Jessica Ferretiz.
Dale Clary of Carris Reels brought his grandson, Cooper (pictured), along with his daughter Maegan and granddaughter , Raegan.  Printings of the book were made possible by a grant from Dale Clary's community grant committee and Carris Reels.

The children were given craft supplies to make their own Rowdy hand puppet.


The children show off their Rowdy puppets.


 In addition, Alexander Central High School teacher, Mary Beth White, translated the book into Spanish making the book accessible to our Hispanic population. 

Rowdy has been printed by The Taylorsville Times and a copy given to each child at the Tuesday and Friday storytimes. Copies will be available to check out at Alexander County Library and Bethlehem Branch. 

So excited to see it all come together!  What story do you have to tell?


Monday, June 2, 2014

Fizz Boom READ! on the Way At Alexander County Library and Bethlehem Branch!

All you need to know!

Or the Government Channel shorter version made by Chad Ritchie.  Love it!

Sign up online today at


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Banner Year for 5th Anniversary of The Alexander Muse!

The 5h anniversary edition of The Alexander Muse teen art and literary magazine debuted on April 15, 2014 with yet another incredible mix of teen works.  This year’s magazine is in full color made possible by a community grant from Carris Reels of Statesville. 

The event was held at Reformation Lutheran Church’s Fellowship Hall in Taylorsville.  Talented teens Allison Hager, Jared Webb, and Peter Ippolito provided musical entertainment.  Refreshments were provided by Alexander Friends of the Library. 

Rowan Sheppard accepts her award for snagging the cover with her artwork, "Marilyn".
1st prize, provided by Wal-Mart of Taylorsville, was a $25 gift card for Wal-Mart.  First place winners by category were:  Art (front cover of the magazine), “Marilyn” by Rowan Sheppard; Photography (back cover), “Oak Island Sunset” by Morgan Waterbury; Prose, “The Cat” by Kira Call; and Poetry, “Finery Lost At Sea – The Tale of Margot and Jim” by Bailey Sherrill.

Morgan Waterbury's "Oak Island Sunset" graces the back cover of this year's edition.
2nd prize, provided by Alexander Friends of the Library, was $15 cash. Second place winners by category were:  Art, “Doctor Who” by Gage Hefner;  Photography, “Jelly In The Sky” by Jessica Ferretiz; Prose, “The Noise” by Christian Addington; and Poetry, “Prayer For The Wandering Soul” by Wendy Kerley.

3rd prize, provided by Village Inn of Taylorsville, was a free buffet and drink at Village Inn.  Third place winners by category were: Art, “September 11th” by Monica Moore; Photography, “Oven Bird” by Miranda Richmond; Prose, “What Do You Want To Do?” by Kim Henning; and Poetry, “Ode to Mis Mejores Amigas” by Alexa Watts.

London Mooneyham is our first trifecta!   She has an artwork, photo, and prose piece in the 2014 edition.

Honorable Mentions were named per category:  Art – “Spirited Away” by Taylor Daugherty, “Woman” by London Mooneyham, ”Metropolis” by Heather Roberts, and “Dreaming” by Mykah Lail; Photography – “Frosty Morn” by London Mooneyham, “My Guitar Gently Weeps” by Sarah Johnson, and “Afternoon Sun” by Kayla Johnson; Prose – “The Crazy Ones” by London Mooneyham; and Poetry – “Beautiful Fake Smile” by Megan Garvin, “Ode To You, Dad” by Taylor Potts, and “Storm of A New Beginning” by Hayley Bucknum.

The Alexander Muse staff includes: Alexander Central High School English teacher, Beth Duncan; ACHS art teacher, Robbin Isenhour Stewart; and me as Alexander County Library's children’s librarian. 

I put on FaceBook that I look up to this man, Dale Clary, in more ways than one.  Not only is he a positive force in our community, he's pretty darn tall!  Dale was instrumental in getting us the community grant from Carris Reels, where he will soon be retiring as General Manager.
The staff thanks all of the students who submitted works.  They also wish to thank Carris Reels for the community grant; Alexander Friends of the Library; Wal-Mart of Taylorsville; Village Inn of Taylorsville; Reformation Lutheran Church; the judges who determined the 2014 collection  – Richard Bruns, Lucille Earp, Leslie Newton, Ann Chandonnet, Patricia Deaton, Molly Rice, Millie Adams, Glenn Mays, Tim Peeler, Tabitha Goforth, Amber Wallace, and Brooke Williams; Bud Caywood for his assistance; Peter Ippolito, Jared Webb, and Allison Hager for music at the debut; Muse assistants – Maura Hertzler and Mykah Lail; The Taylorsville Times; Alexander County Schools; and Alexander County Government.

Copies of the magazine are available for purchase for $5 at Alexander County Library, Bethlehem branch, and the Lucas Mansion of The Hiddenite Center.  Copies can be checked out from the libraries as well.
The Alexander Muse is a collaborative effort of Alexander County Schools and Alexander County Library.  The goal is to inspire creativity in the teens of Alexander County.  The contest is open to all high school students from Alexander County regardless of educational institution.

I cannot wait for everyone to see the talented works of our teens!

Friday, March 14, 2014

TPH Visits Lucas Mansion & Youth Art Exhibit For Final Meeting

Teen Poetry Happens got ekphrastic for their final meeting of the 2013-14 school year at the Lucas Mansion of the Hiddenite Center.  A few of our artists had pieces on display from the Youth Art Competition which was held on March 2. This made the trip even more special for our teens.

Ekphrastic poetry is based on an artwork - pottery, photography, or painting.  The teens viewed all the items in the gallery and chose one - or several -on which to base their poem.  Some of our teen artists decided to use the artistic inspiration to create their own drawings.  

Miranda Burgin from the Hiddenite Center, arranged the afternoon visit for TPH.  We thank Ms. Burgin and the center's staff very much for having us.

Here are some of the works created from our visit.

"Spinning" by Jessica Ferretiz

Everything's spinning ,
but we are together.
We each have issues,
waddling along.
I watch with one eye
and you laugh with a gesture.
It spins and explores,
longing so softly.
With arched backs,
carousel singing,
we dance in the night
and sit here thinking.

Senior, Jessica Ferretiz, had this adorable strawberry in the Youth Art Competition.

Jeremiah Webb's poem was based on many of the works in the gallery. The artistic titles are in quotes. This is also in the spoken word video below.

"So Many Walls, So Many Ways" by Jeremiah Webb

Hidden doors all around, so many "Issues."  Where's "McCartney" when you need him? Life feels like a "Tiger and a Dragon" are fighting inside my head.  I need a "Hidden Angel" to set me free. I'm not asking for "Puppy Love" or to "Be Unique".  Just simply "Heart Friends" to show the way.

Sarah Johnson's portrait of Sir Paul McCartney inspired my poem

"Dichotomy" by Mel Hager

Across room in black and white,
Paul calls to me.
Beatle who broke hearts,
mend my broken wings.

Senior Morgan Waterbury had this sweet kitty in the competition.  She was also inspired to draw a tree which was based on this sculpture.

"Freed" by Hayley Bucknum 
(check out her spoken word on down)

I haven't freed my spirit,
not danced before the dawn.
I leap into the air,
open my heart to the world,
set my spirit free,
dance with the life around.

"Where There Is Hope" by Kira Call
Staring upward into the depth of a deep and starry night, her eyes glaze as she dreams of what is yet to come, of past, present, and future.  In the blackness of the sky, filled with pinpricks of light, she realizes that all is not lost, not all is hopeless. And somewhere, deep within her heart, she feels hope swell. She knows deep inside her that where there is hope, there is a future. 
Art by Sarah Johnson
It comes in all shapes and sizes,
it's the forbidden kind that gets me.
Not accepted by society,
the love I find beautiful.

Love Janah Bucknum's "Drawing A Blank"!

Our adoration for humanity
pulls our cosmos together,
bonds spirits, never ending -
a love greater than all.

Cheyenne Chumley was inspired 
by this drawing in the background.

Check out some of our recorded spoken word poetry. video

Many thanks to our teens for a wonderful year of creativity and to the Hiddenite Center for providing a wonderful space to finish up our meetings! 

Be sure to join us for the debut of the 2014 Alexander Muse on April 15 at Reformation Lutheran Church's fellowship hall from 3:30 - 5:30 pm.  Door prizes, music, and a walk through this special 5th anniversary edition which will be in full color!  Thanks again to Carris Reels of Statesville for the community grant which makes this happen.

Finally, we are in the last week before The Hunger Games Teen Lock-In here at Alexander County Library.  Be sure to call me to reserve your spot and get a permission form. Cannot wait!