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!
Mel

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?

Mel

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 www.alexanderlibrary.org/summer-reading

Mel

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!
Mel

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
"Love"
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"!

"Agape"
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!

Mel

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Exciting Teen Programs This Month at Alexander County Library!



Our teens will be hopping this month with incredible opportunities for creativity and fun.  Teen Poetry Happens takes a field trip on Tuesday, March 11 to the Hiddenite Center's Lucas Mansion to explore ekphrastic poetry.  The program begins at 3:30 pm and will end at 4:30 pm.  Refreshments will be provided.

On Sunday, March 2, the Center had its Youth Art Competition and all of the works are on display.  Our TPH teens will get to write poetry, short stories, or be inspired to draw even more art around the exhibition's works.


I was really excited that Jared Webb, one of my YAYA/TPH students, 
played beautiful music for the art reception.  Great job!

If you are an Alexander County teen and would like to join us at the Lucas Mansion, be there by 3:30 pm.  I will provide transportation from the high school and public library with a signed form.  Seats are limited so call me at the library 
828-632-4058 to reserve a ride and get the form.

Then, on Friday night, March 21, will be the return of the teen lock-in for the beloved Hunger Games trilogy!  5 pm - 
11 pm. This teen lock-in (for 7th grade to high school senior) will honor the second book/movie in the series, Catching Fire.  Please make your reservations for the event by March 18.  Call the library at the above number. 

The YAYAs and I put together the video that details all the fun activities we have planned - including Skype chats with Paradise, CA and Craig, Alaska libraries.  The lock-in will also will be in tandem with Teen Tech Week (albeit a week late). Cannot wait!

Click on the link and watch it here 

May the odds be ever in your favor!
Mel


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Oh, The Love! TPH Makes Music At The February Meeting


The TPH teens were a creative lot on Tuesday, February 11th at our Valentine's meeting at Reformation's Fellowship Hall. Armed with a recorder and a video camera, I was able to capture lots of music from guitars, ukeleles, piano, and various percussion instruments.  

Teens wrote lyrics, rapped and sang.  And, of course, enjoyed apple bites!  I threw a photo of them  into the video taken at another meeting.  The video consists of footage from several of our adventures through the year.  

A reminder that The Alexander Muse is still accepting works of art, poetry, prose, and photography to be considered for the 5th Anniversary edition which debuts April 15.  The contest is open to all Alexander County residents who attend any type of high school educational institution – public, private, alternative, or home school.  

Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place and will be provided by Wal-mart of Taylorsville, Alexander Friends of the Library, and Village Inn of Taylorsville.  There will also be 3 honorable mentions in each category. 

We are super excited that the whole edition will be in color provided by a generous grant from Carris Reels of Statesville.  This means art and photography will be displayed at their best!  We are grateful to Carris Reels for their support of the arts in Alexander County - especially our awesome teen literary magazine!

Click here to watch (and hear!) Music of February 2014

Have a great month of love!

Mel