In our July/August issue, we highlighted arts and crafts programs offered by the Seminole County Public Library System. The county’s libraries are in Casselberry, Oviedo, Sanford, Longwood, and Lake Mary. But those aren’t the only libraries in town. In this issue, we shine a spotlight on arts programs at the Maitland Public Library and the Altamonte Springs City Library.
Next time you’re checking out a book at the Maitland Public Library, take a few moments to admire the artwork on display throughout the building. If you have the urge to do more than look, the library offers many ways to be creative. For starters, there are do-it-yourself craft projects, poetry workshops, and knitting lessons.
Arts programming helps make the library a more well-rounded resource for the community, says director Ellen Schellhause.
The art displays, which change monthly, are popular with artists, patrons, and library employees. Most of the exhibits showcase work by local adult artists and area art groups. Children’s art is featured a couple of times a year. Sometimes, the artwork is provided by the neighboring Maitland Art Center.
Circulation supervisor Veronica Dailey, who coordinates the displays, says there is wall space to hang about 40 pieces of art. Staffers say the paintings, drawings, photography, and other pieces of art brighten their workspace.
“The saddest time in the building is the end of the month, when the artists come and take all their stuff down,” Ellen says. “The walls are barren. They just look sad.”
September’s featured artist is Kathleen Brodeur, who works in oils and other media. October’s exhibit will showcase watercolor paintings from Memories in the Making, an Alzheimer’s Association program for adults dealing with memory loss. Program participants often meet at the library to paint. You can read more about the Memories in the Making program on page 16.
Knitting classes for adults and teens are taught by Sue Burley, a library patron and master knitter. The program moves from Tuesdays to Thursdays beginning September 8. Intermediate knitting is from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. Beginning knitting is from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.
The library’s poetry and writing workshops for adults are led by Elaine Person, a writer, poet, and editor. Designed to help wordsmiths hone their skills, the workshops are at 3:30 p.m. on the third Sunday of the month. Extra Saturday sessions are sometimes offered. The next workshop is Sunday, September 18.
Poets who want to share their words with an audience are invited to read their work at the library’s quarterly coffeehouse nights. The next event, which has a writing prompt of “Sandals or Scandals,” is at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, September 30.
The DIY crafting series at the Maitland Public Library begins in September with a program on making upcycled jewelry. The program, open to adults and teens, is at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 22. Future topics include building terrariums for plants, making soap, and crafting pop-up holiday cards.
You don’t have to be a teen or adult to get artsy at the library. Basic crafts for kids are offered as part of the Maitland Public Library’s storytime programs. And, a series called Crafting with the Classics was offered earlier this year and is returning for another round this fall. Children learn about the lives and works of famous artists and then imitate their styles with art projects.
In addition to the programming presented by the library, several outside arts organizations meet there. One of the groups is Florida Origami Learners and Devotees (FOLD, get it?), whose members enjoy the art of paper folding. The club meets at 10:00 a.m. on the second Saturday of every other month. The next meeting is September 10.
Al Aki, an origami enthusiast for 20 years, is appreciative that his group has opportunities to display origami models in the building.
“It’s important for people to see images of peace, creativity, beauty, and caring,” Al says, “and to know they could do it, too, maybe with a little help.”
The Orlando Modern Quilt Guild meets at the Maitland Public Library for sew days on the first or second Monday of the month. Sew days give guild members the chance to work on individual projects in a group setting. The next meeting begins at 10:00 a.m. on September 12.
The Maitland Writers’ Group, a branch of the Florida Writers Association, meets at 6:30 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month. The next meeting is September 8. And, the Orlando Area Poets Chapter of the Florida State Poets Association meets at 6:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of the month. The next meeting is September 15.
The Maitland Public Library, at 501 South Maitland Avenue, celebrated its 120th birthday earlier this year. Hours are 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday. For details, call 407-647-7700 or visit MaitlandPL.org.
Art in Altamonte
The Altamonte Springs City Library doesn’t have a large meeting space for outside groups, but the library has offered free crafting sessions for kids for years, says director Diana Long. The program, for ages 5 to 11, is from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesdays during the school year.
Also, adult patrons sometimes bring in artwork they’ve created and ask staffers to display the pieces in the building. Diana tries to accommodate them whenever possible.
“Arts and literature are so closely tied together,” she notes.
The Altamonte Springs City Library, which has served residents since 1960, is at 281 North Maitland Avenue. Hours are 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For details, call 407-571-8830 or visit Altamonte.org or Altamonte.MySurpass.net.
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