News Column

Exhibiting talent

September 4, 2014

By Bethany Leggett, The Brunswick News, Ga.

Sept. 04--When checking out your next book, make sure to take a peek at the artwork hanging on the walls and ceiling of the Brunswick-Glynn County Library.

The library, now part of the Marshes of Glynn Library System, has showcased a wide range of local artists, from photographers to painters with featured monthly art exhibits for several years.

"Brunswick isn't large enough for a major art museum like New York or some other city. And when people come to the library, they may not be here to look at art, at first, but they see a few pieces when they come and over time, we expose them to different artists and opportunities to see the creativity of others," said Karen Larrick, program coordinator of the Brunswick-Glynn County Library.

Larrick said she keeps a list of artists to call when a month becomes available for a showcase. For those who have never shown their works before, she asks them to send in a description of themselves and a few pictures so she can pair the right show to the right season.

"Some exhibits, we have professionals who have retired from a lifelong career and have polished their skills as an artist. They treat their works as a second career really. And then we have amateurs who are ready to start showing their own works. It's a range, and we try to pair it with something we are doing with the other library programs, if possible," Larrick said.

The hallway leading into the library has the capacity to hold up to 40 pieces of art, but August's featured artist exhibit, Peter Boyton, took a more visible approach. He hung large kites, which covered the entryway into the library, next to photographs he had taken by attaching a camera to the kites. The unique method of aerial photography creates some stunning photographs, Larrick said, which made Boyton's exhibit a hit with library attendees.

"The idea to attach cameras to kites actually goes back to the early 1900s. They would have to get three or four kites together to hold the large cameras, so this style isn't exactly new. It's actually quite old but has been modernized with smaller, digital cameras. And it is definitely something fun to watch. It requires great skill of the photographer to imagine the image and actually fly the kite," said Larrick, who is quick to point out the kites are not drones.

Boyton, a patron of the library, first showcased his aerial photographs in the St. Simons Island library, but the space was limited. At the Brunswick library, he put his photographs on display in August.

The large, colorful kites continue to hang inside the lobby entrance for anyone who missed his showcase last month.

"I enjoy being outside and talking to people about kite photography," said Boyton, who started the hobby in 2007 and has become increasingly serious about it over the past three years.

He said he enjoys taking pictures of people, from 30 to 40 feet in the air, or looking down onto a building from above.

"It's always good to take a picture of a building where there are no other structures around. People try to figure out how you took that photo since there isn't a ledge or nearby landing to stand on," said the St. Simons photographer.

Boyton will show his skills in action during Brunswick's First Friday celebration at the library by flying a kite with a camera attached, weather permitting.

Watercolor artist Bonnie Rabert is displaying 29 of her still-lifes, landscapes and giclÃ委 prints as the September artist of the month at the Brunswick library.

Rabert, whose previous exhibits included a showcase at the library in 2009, likes the setting the library provides because it gives her a chance to incorporate art education into the display. In one section, she has three different styles of a magnolia flower. In another area, she has an original work next to the giclÃ委 digital reproduction to see if passersby can tell the difference between the two.

With giclÃ委, a digital image of the original artwork is scanned and then printed individually either on paper or canvas. It's a common practice for giclÃ委s to be offered as a limited edition of a popular work, and the amount of detail included in the scans makes it difficult to tell the reprint from the original, she said.

"More museums and galleries are showing giclÃ委s because they are more affordable. And it also gives the artist a chance to rework a piece for a different size," Rabert said.

Rabert, who first started painting through classes she took at Glynn Art, now Glynn Visual Arts, also uses mixed media works and likes the variable styles involved with both crafts.

"I love it when people ask me, 'How did you do that'?" she said. "I like to be able to explain the process and teach people, which is how I learned."

The library will host a meet and greet with Rabert from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Sept. 16. Rabert said she will also likely be around during First Friday to see Boyton's display as well.

In addition to Boyton's kite demonstration, the library will host "Reading to the Dogs," where dogs provided by Therapy Dogs International will become avid listeners for children who want to read to a furry friend, at First Friday. The festivities will start at 5:30 p.m. and continue to 7 p.m.

No matter what style of art hangs on the walls or from the ceilings, Larrick hopes the monthly exhibits inspire people as they head into the library.

"With all the shows, I hope people go away inspired to create something of their own," she said.

"Art speaks to all of us."

-- Lifestyle Editor Bethany Leggett writes about lifestyle topics. Contact her at, or at 265-8320, ext. 316.

First Friday Fun

The Brunswick-Glynn County Library, 208 Gloucester St., Brunswick, will host several events from 5:30 to 7 p.m. during First Friday. Children are invited to sit and read to therapy dogs as part of the "Reading to the Dogs" program, and photographer Peter Boyton will give a demonstration of kite aerial photography, weather permitting.


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