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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.


Photo of the artist in front of several paintings

Self-taught artist Jerry Blend brings his paintings to DeMotte's art wall

Jerry Blend is DeMotte’s featured artist for the months of May and June. Gerry began painting 20 years ago and painted for about 5 years. He recently picked back up the brush in the last 10 months and has been creating beautiful oil paintings once again. He credits watching Bob Ross back in the 80’s along with current YouTube tutorials as his guides.


Wall of paintings

Gerry Blend's eye catching art focus of Wheatfield Library Art Wall in April

Gerry Blend is Wheatfield Library’s featured artist for April.

Blend, a former Milwaukee native, moved to Indiana in 1973 and began to dabble with painting a few years later.

After a long 20 year hiatus, he picked up his brush and hasn’t stopped. In just under a year he has created 30 paintings, some of those currently on display on the Wheatfield Library’s art wall.


Photo of the artist with her display of paintings

Enjoy 'Joys of Summer' at DeMotte Library in March

For the month of March, DeMotte Library is proud to exhibit a collection of artwork titled, "Joys of Summer" by Lynn Buckmaster.

Lynn is a self-taught artist, born and raised in N.W. Indiana. Her works can be found in several private collections across the United states and also in Japan.


Photo of Pam Butler

DeMotte Library's 'Artist Spotlight' shines bright on Pam Butler

Roselawn native Pam Butler is DeMotte Library’s featured artist in February. As a retired hairstylist, Pam channels her creativity and eye for color into her paintings. Oils, acrylics, and watercolors are her medium of choice when creating her beautiful works of art. Pam also does commission work, and is always excited to sell her works of art to those that appreciate her style.


Photo of watercolor of flowers in a blue vintage wheelbarrow.

Claudia Pletting displays art at Rensselaer Library

My interest in art as a means of expression began with photography. Little did I know, growing up in Wabash, how much I loved Indiana…nature…and the power of photography to create highly personal impressions.


The artist with her paintings at the Wheatfield Library

Art of Tracy Tauber on display in Wheatfield

Hello! My name is Tracy Tauber. I am an oil painter who loves to paint animals, landscapes, and scenes from the beautiful natural world which surrounds us.

I have studied art under the guidance of professional artist Susan Rossi. I was raised in Northwest Indiana, and am still a resident there.


The artist surrounded by her photographs

DeMotte Library's 'Artist Spotlight' shines bright on photographer Bailey Allen

The DeMotte Library is proud to display the photography of Bailey Allen for the months of November and December. Her current display is a series she calls "Home Sweet Home," which pays homage to our homeless veterans.


Photo of paintings on the wall

Melissa Widner displays altered photography at Rensselaer Library through October

Digital artist Melissa Widner has been working with photography almost all her life, and with digital editing software for more than 30 years.

“I have always loved the literal definition of photography as ‘writing with light.’ Photos are not just a way to record the history around us, but also can evoke moods and feeling with all the colors that can, and sometimes can’t, exist in nature.


Photo of Tim Gross standing with his art display.

Tim Gross displays portraits, carvings at Rensselaer Library in September

Tim is a local artist that works professionally as a tattoo artist but also does painting, drawing, sculpting and wood carving.


Photo of paintings on the wall

Janice Krediet paintings on display at DeMotte Library

Janice Krediet is our DeMotte feature artist for September and October. Janice, an art teacher, has taught for the last 25 years. Her goal is to ignite the joy of creativity in children and adults. She is also available for Coffee and Canvas parties.