The Semmes Camellia Festival is over for another year, but visitors to Semmes Public Library have a second chance to enjoy the beauty of Alabama's State Flower. On display through February 28 is the Camellia Art Show in the Semmesonian Art Space just inside the the library's front doors.
There one can find camellias rendered in many media--watercolors, oils, pen and ink, origami and plastic lids. Yes; plastic lids. The largest piece of artwork in the gallery is one created by students at Semmes Boys & Girls Club, under the art instruction of Lucy Gafford. The lids, the sort that come on the tops of deli containers, are painted in varying hues of pink, green and yellow and arranged to form a blossom.
Other eye-catching works include the display of white origami camellias by Mary Rodning, volunteer curator at the Semmesonian, and a painting of a bee (or hummingbird?) at the yellow center of a white camellia "Searching for the Sweet Spot" by Carol Wiggins. Also capturing the beauty of the snowy blooms is Karen McGahagin with "Winter White" and Patty Loebig with a cluster called "Camellia."
For many camellia lovers, the pink stands out as most representative, and Jeanette Byrd's "A Cup of Tea" not only captures the beauty of the pale pink camellia but adds a touch of other pastels with a grouping of purple pansies and a lavendar violet and a china teacup with a blue flowers, set on a crisp white table cloth. T. J. Wilson Jr.'s simple pink camellia is entitled "For Paw Paw."
There are perhaps two dozen or more outstanding artworks in the show and some of the other exhibitors include Elizabeth Barnes, Lori Riley, Phillippe and Cynthia Oczuscik and Robert McKinney. The exhibit is well worth a special trip to the library, 9150 Moffett Road at McCrary Road.
As a matter of information for artists or those aspiring to be, the Mary Ellen Ward Art Guild sponsors a free painting class for adults on Tuesdays, noon-3 p.m. at Semmes Public Library. For information, call Jeanette Byrd at 649-1647.
Pictured with the art created by Semmes Boys & Girls Club are Lydia Smith and Kaitlyn Read