Exhibit of local art adds style to library foyer

by Kelly Deichert
Air University Public Affairs

5/13/2011 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- The solution was mutually beneficial. The Muir S. Fairchild Research Information Center, or MSFRIC, needed to fill its display case, and local artists wanted space to showcase their works.

For the third year, Capital City Artists is exhibiting paintings and drawings in the library's foyer.

"Even though we are a library and have plenty of books, we enjoy showcasing exhibits from many different interest areas," said Carrie Springer, president of the MSFRIC Staff Association. "Since this is our main entrance, we like to keep the area interesting and catch the eye of patrons upon entering the building."

Previous displays included holiday themes, miniatures, bridal dolls and faculty publications.

"The MSFRIC Staff Association developed a connection with the Capital City Art Group in April 2009 when we discovered they would be interested in creating a display of paintings focusing on cultural awareness," said Helen Lehman, the liaison between the Capitol City Artists and the library. "At the same time, the library was expanding and highlighting a new collection of library materials pertaining to global cultural interactions, and the first Capital City Art Group's exhibit titled 'Culture through Art' seemed to compliment the library theme."

The art exhibit also is a way to connect the base and the River Region. Members of the Maxwell-Gunter community had a chance to meet the Capitol City Artists during a reception May 4.

"Libraries are historically community hubs, and the beautification of library facilities via a variety of exhibits promotes a welcoming atmosphere for patrons, staff and visitors," Ms. Lehman said.

The current exhibit features artwork from students at Judie's Studio, operated by art instructor Judie Hooks.

"This is an opportunity to display, and we always want to display," said artist Brock Parker. "It's a great opportunity to show our talents and give back to Maxwell."

Several pieces of Mr. Parker's art are exhibited, including one of hay bales.  He said he is most proud of his study of "Christina's World" by Andrew Wyeth. He said the Capital City Artists often have a study at the masters class. The library exhibit also includes Dale Marshall's study of Max Beckmann's "Quappi with Parrot."

Ms. Hooks exhibits two pen-and-ink drawings showing Samford Hall and the Auburn University creed, as well as Denny Chimes from the University of Alabama.

Other paintings include still lifes of hydrangea, watermelon, fruits and bottles. The staff association rotates exhibits. "If anyone has a collection they would be interested in displaying, we would love to accommodate them," Ms. Hooks said.