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Art at the Library

The Jasper County Public Library provides limited space at each of our locations for display of original works of art and crafts, as well as display of private collections. These exhibits, as approved by library staff, are encouraged as a cultural expression of local community activity.

For more information, please read our Art Exhibit and Display Case Use Policy. Or stop in or call with questions.

Barb Lucas invites patrons to explore Kingdom of the Monarchs with July-August art wall display

Rensselaer July, 2019Photo of several monarch butterfly photos

Hello Friends,
Every fall, hundreds of millions of monarch butterflies arrive in central Mexico completing a journey that began three to four generations earlier! They travel from Canada and the United States to the oyamel fir forest in the mountains. There they cluster together to stay safe and warm through the winter months. On warmer days they drink from puddles and stream edges and nectar on emerging flowers.

Last March I visited the Monarch Preserves near Angangueo Mexico. This trip to witness their migration was a spiritual pilgrimage. I have loved monarchs for decades. When my father passed away, they soothed my soul as they flitted across the landscape near me. It was a joy to be immersed in millions of monarchs in Mexico and the local culture that celebrates their annual return. Because monarch numbers have declined 90% in recent decades, I urge you to do what you can to help them out. We should all

• Protect native milkweed plants, the monarch's host plant for their eggs. Plant them in our flower beds, gardens, conservation plots and road sides.
• Curb global warming which is destroying oyamel fir forests in Mexico where the monarchs overwinter.
• Share the amazing story of the monarch migration with our children and grandchildren. This library has some great books to help you do that.

May the monarchs continue to thrive for centuries to come. save them, perhaps we'll save ourselves. For the good of the earth,
Barb Lucas

Mariposa Monarca

After a pilgrimage by plane. then bus, pickup truck, horse and finally on foot, we' re in the oyamel fir forest among the tall trees, walking a dusty path. Ahead, trees are filled with shadowy clumps, giant limbs hanging down. Walking closer clumps tum into tens of thousands of soft brown butterflies clustered together with folded wings, gently swaying on the branches. A.soft muffled vibration can just barely be sensed when the forest is still.

As grey clouds float away and blue skies appear, monarchs warm in the sunlight, then fly through open space. Some drop down and drink along small streams. Others pair up and mate along the dirt trail. The sky, once empty, now fills with active orange wings floating against an open sea of blue.. Humans sit in a trance, watching in wonder. Some are touched by butterflies landing to rest on their shoulders and legs.

As the afternoon warms, many monarchs nectar on wildflowers along the forest floor. Others begin to float down the mountain, thru fields and towns and start the long journey north.Three separate generations follow the spring milkweed plants as they emerge north to Canada. And in the fall, sun angled low in the sky, a final methuselah generation hears the call from home and rides the wind 3,000 miles south, back into the praying hands of the oyamel fir forest.
Barb Lucas. 4/14/19

Photo of the artist's granddaughter with a monarch on her shoulder

Art of Judy Crawford featured at Wheatfield Library through August

Wheatfield July, 2019Collage of animal images done with chalk and pencils

Recently, our featured artist explained why she enjoys making art:

“I enjoy the physical act of making art, and working in different mediums affords me the challenges and pleasures of each different material. Be it the drag or “tooth” of charcoal on textured papers, the ability to push and manipulate oil paint on the canvas, or the loose and broad application of pastels in building layers of color on paper, each medium is exciting and demanding in its own right.

“Whether it is figurative drawing; a portrait of a person, animal or bird; a landscape or a realistic and sumptuous still life work, my goal is the same: to share with the viewer my excitement, interpretation and appreciation for not only the look, but the essence of what makes that subject unique. I hope that each of my works stimulates some response, either meditative and private, or public and leading to a lively conversation about the choices of works that I am pleased to share with the patrons of the Wheatfield Library.”

Judy’s artworks are currently being displayed until the end of August at the Wheatfield Library, located at 350 S. Bierma St.


Irene Evans' art featured at DeMotte through August

DeMotte July, 2019Collage of landscapes and barn scenes in pencil and wash

The artwork of Irene Evans is on display at DeMotte Library through the end of August.

Irene loved to color as a child. Her parents would proudly display her finished pictures at their business in Gary, Indiana. Customers would praise her work and occasionally give her a nickel. When she got enough nickels, she bought another coloring book.

At nine years old, Irene and her family moved to a farm in DeMotte. She attended DeMotte High School and took Art classes all four years. She then married and had two sons. Once her boys were in school, Irene attended college and received her degree in Elementary Education. She then taught for thirty years, in DeMotte, Hebron and Kniman. While teaching in Hebron, Irene was commissioned to paint two large murals.

Over the years, she has taken instruction in various types of oil, acrylic, watercolor, "prismacolor" colored pencil, and pen and ink. Irene  also worked with Milton Lenoir in Alabama for eight summers and earned a certificate to teach his style of acrylic painting.

Now retired, Irene enjoys painting in all forms of Art, from landscapes, floral, southwest, still life, portrait, to pen and ink of old buildings.


Small display quilt of red chairs by Lake Michigan.

DeMotte Library displays fiber art collection of Mary Ann VanSoest

Using a variety of textiles, yarn and other materials, Mary Ann VanSoest creates vibrant and colorful shapes, using a mix of contours and structures, as well as a good deal of imagination and talent to create Fiber Art.

During the months of July and August, the DeMotte Library is proud to display pieces from Mary Ann’s colorful Fiber Art collection on the Library’s Art Wall.


Photo of artist Autumn Fagenbaum in front of her costumes.

Cosplay display at Wheatfield Library through August

Creative costuming is a passion for Autumn Fagenbaum, and one that she credits for gaining confidence enough to conquer her stage fright and helping her to create a new circle of friends who share her love of costume design.


Photo of the artist by several of her metal collages

Abbie Parmele charms with Simple Elegance display of found object art at Rensselaer Library

Intriguing, exciting, fun are just a few words to describe the small in size but large in expression collages. For the viewers eye, they are meant to be enlightening and to spark an interest as to what makes up the intricate but sleek design.


Photo of the artist

Wheatfield Library showcases artwork of Sasha Hachlica

Painting, taking care of her animals and enjoying time with friends are just a few of Sasha Hachlica’s interests. Sasha is 17 years old and has ambitions of becoming a veterinarian when she graduates from KV High School. Sasha’s love for art began with sketching in charcoal pencil, and developed into a love for painting with acrylics.


Photo of the artist

Marsha K. Castello's Contemporary Moods on display at Rensselaer in April, May

As a resident of Lafayette, Indiana for the past 30 years, Marsha has been active in the Wabash Valley Artist's Association and has participated in many community organizations.

Although, a painter all of her life, it wasn't until she retired from Purdue University in 2007 that she found the time and niche to create to her heart's content and in many different mediums.


Photo of the artist

The DeMotte Library hosts the art of Judy Crawford through April

I enjoy the physical act of making art, and working in different mediums affords me challenges and pleasures in each.


Photo of the artist

Still Lifes by John D. Groppe on display at Rensselaer through March

I was born in New York City and have been a Hoosier since 1958 when I became a graduate student in English at the University of Notre Dame. I have been a resident of Rensselaer since 1962 when my wife Rose Marie and I started teaching at Saint Joseph’s College. I have been an ardent photographer since the 1980s.


Photo of the artist

Works of Lynn Buckmaster on display at DeMotte Library in January and February

Lynn Buckmaster is a local artist, born and raised in N.W. Indiana. Lynn is a member of the Jasper County Art League. At present, her works can be found in several private collections across the United States.


Photo of the artist

Rensselaer Library showcases paintings of Christine Herre

Being artistic is “a gift” I was blessed with and my parents being artistic may have something to do with my enjoyment of art.

I was involved in art thru my school years. I’m a member of the Jasper County Art League.

Pottery, watercolors, acrylics, oils, colored pencils, leather, dried gourds are just a few mediums I have worked with. I’m always interested in trying something new.


Photo of the artist with photographs along the wall in the background

Wheatfield Library Displays Photography of Claudia Pletting

Seeing nature and other fascinating subjects through the eye of her camera lens, Claudia Pletting uses the power of photography as a means of expressing her love for nature, creating highly personal impressions from natural, everyday scenes through photography.