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Artistic Opportunities

Carrollton programs push
cultural arts for youths, adults

Carroll County Library displays
new artwork each month

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

CARROLLTON, Ky. (February 2010) – It’s very important to Jim Fothergill to keep the arts alive in Carroll County. He wants to encourage students to pursue their passion and talents, while sharing them with the community.
Fothergill believes “we have so much talent in Carroll County.” This is the reason he began a program last January that allows area high school students to display their artwork.

Patrick Habas

Photo provided

Carroll County High School senior
Patrick Habas poses with his
artwork that is on display in
February at the local library.

Each month, a different student is chosen to display his work in the Artist Alcove of the Carroll County Public Library. From there, the artwork circulates to the lobby of the First National Bank of Carrollton, and then to the U.S. Bank in Carrollton. Fothergill always takes a picture of the student and displays it alongside his work so that viewers can put a “name and face together,” he said.
A reception will be held at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12, for student Luke McLain Kendrick. Usually the students are older, but Kendrick is a fourth-grade student at Carmel Elementary School who was “very anxious to do this,” said Fothergill.
An adult artist is highlighted every month as well, and his work is displayed on the walls of the library’s Community Room. The featured February adult artist is Port Royal, Ky., resident Tom Sanker, who integrates florescent paint into his work.
Fothergill said it is important to have such talent within the county and to showcase it. Each May, an art show is held at the library with adult artwork spread throughout the building. This gives it better recognition, he said. Artists from neighboring counties also participate in this show.
Fothergill, who is vice president of the Carroll County Arts Commission, said efforts have been under way to revamp the commission. A building at the corner of Main and Court streets formerly used as an art studio has become available again to the Arts Commission.
Classes will be taught in dance, drama, piano and instrumentals for any age. A new dance floor was recently installed.
When thinking of ways to bring the arts to the downtown area, Fothergill said he “never likes to see vacant store windows.” This gave him the idea to display artwork and photography in such venues.
When a vacant building at the corner of Fifth and Main (formerly Carrollton Federal) went on the market for sale, Fothergill displayed student artwork there during the holidays by students from Carrollton Christian Academy.
An avid photographer himself, Fothergill also had two old pictures of the downtown area blown up to put in store windows. Dating to 1898, he said the pictures were sure “to bring some attention to the area.”
In his position as a board member for the library, Fothergill has “seen what we have and it’s made me more interested in the arts.” He says the county has a great opportunity to show off its talents.
Former Carroll County library director Jarrett Boyd agrees. In October, she began a writer’s group which meets at 1 p.m. every Tuesday at the library. “I thought it would be a nice thing for folks who like to write and get together and share their work,” said Boyd.
Of the eight members, some are working on novels and another is writing a non-fiction book. “We read, share, react and give advice,” she said. The group, which is for all ages, may do a public reading at some point in the future.
The library offers quite a few programs aimed at the arts, said Boyd, and many which are student-centered. Before retiring, Boyd had the Community Room designed so that art would always be hanging for patrons to view. “The library is a wonderful place to showcase these people.”
Circulation Clerk Patricia Hersey said the library is in the process of planning an open mic night periodically, another way to give local performing arts a venue. She said the library provides chances for patrons to broaden their horizons through Crafters U, where different crafts are explored.
The Carroll County Chamber of Commerce will be holding talent competition auditions at 6 p.m. on Feb. 24 at the library. Winners will perform at the chamber’s annual dinner later in the year, said Hersey.
Just like Fothergill, the arts have always been important to Boyd. “I just always felt that we had so much talent in our community that we needed a venue to showcase it.”
Two years ago, Boyd had applied for a grant for the library and awarded funding for Home Is Where the Art Is. She was able to provide lots of different programming through this grant.
With so much negativity in the world, it’s good to promote creativity, said Boyd. As for the community as a whole, “It’s a better part of who we are.”

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