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Visit your local library, learn art
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Every artist has to begin somewhere.

Pembroke Librarian Paul Weinberger hopes the local library will soon become one of those places.

That’s why beginning in March, Pembroke and Richmond Hill libraries will team with local artists to provide free art lessons to county residents. The lessons are Weinberger’s brainchild.

He called it a win-win-win situation.

"Our local artists get exposure, residents get free art lessons and we get the opportunity to show people what our libraries have to offer," said Weinberger, who applied for and got a $2,000 grant from the Georgia Arts Council. The grant will also cover the library’s summer programs.

Weinberger said he’s already gotten a commitment from Arts on the Coast and other local artists to teach the art classes, and Arts on Coast President Tina Eberlein is enthusiastic about the idea.

"We applaud the libraries for their initiative and support of the arts," Eberlein said. "The appreciation of the arts has always been lacking. The priority seems to be sports. The libraries in Richmond Hill and Pembroke see the importance of arts education and the strengths they bring to a community. Creative thinking and creating art is a relaxing activity and is very important to children and adults, especially in stressful economic times."

Also among the idea’s supporters is Carol Duggar, a North Bryan artist whose work graced the cover of last year’s Neighbor’s and Newcomers Guide, She noted that attracting aspiring artists could help revitalize interest in the county’s libraries.

"Libraries fill so many roles these days," she said. "It used to be you just checked out a book and that was it, but now there’s so much more available. This is just another of many opportunities for the public and just another of many services the library is offering. It’s a great way of trying to involve the community in the library."

Now, all Weinberger and the artists need to know is what kind of lessons to offer - whether it’s Art 101 or something more advanced. That means they have to hear from the public.

"We want to see what kind of response we get," Weinberger said. "Whatever kind of art you want, we’ll get the artist to teach it."

For more information about the classes call the Pembroke Library at 653-2822 or the Richmond Hill Library at 756-3580.

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