Linebaugh Public Library has featured local artists in their display cases for years. In the last ten years, under the management of Carol Ghattas, Branch Manager, they have hosted artists’ works in their glass cases and had displays of school class works at times for special projects. These displays are a wonderful way to introduce kids to art, and different kinds of art to those who may not have the opportunity to go to galleries or museums. They are also a way for residents to see the work of the talented artists in Rutherford County.
“We always like to share the talent of our community with others,” said Ghattas. “The library provides artists with an opportunity for exposure to a wider audience. Our patrons love to see artwork displayed, and we often see people taking time to look at the work.”
Some of the artists featured include Greg Lyons, who is a local artist and line work illustrator, Jen McGuire who has displayed her watercolors more than once, MTSU art student Stephanie Cobb, and Andy Roderick who does dioramas.
“In addition,” said Garrett Crowell, Linebaugh Circulation Manager, “the library has an ongoing agreement to provide a dedicated space for the Murfreesboro Art League…[T]heir ranks include all manner of visual art, so we literally never know what we’re going to get from them.”
Not all of the artists displayed are professionals. And there are no set criteria of choosing the art other than the works must have broad appeal and be generally “family-friendly.” Art that gets picked for its aesthetic appeal has generally come to the attention of one of the library staff and been recommended, while some artists come to us and request the space.
While they do not allow artists to display the prices of their works that are for sale, they do encourage them to include their contact information and a notation that the works is being offered.
“Many of our exhibitors aren’t selling,” said Ghattas, “and are just in it for the craft. We have been known to exhibit youth-produced art, most recently in the ‘Community Comic Strip’ panels, where local school art programs participated.”
Their showings are usually only on display for a month, but if something is popular and they get a lot of positive feedback, the library has been known to hold over an exhibit for longer.
“We also will make special arrangements for things that are difficult to move or install,” said Crowell, “granting longer stays for artists who make that kind of effort.”
Each artist is given one or more display cases, depending upon availability, with glass fronts and shelving. These all lock, so that the art is secure. They have seven cases of various sizes spread all over the library.
While the library does not have artist receptions, some library patrons have been lucky enough to be there on installation or removal days and had opportunities to talk to the artist about their works. Most of their artists are happy to discuss their creations.
Currently, the library does not promote individual exhibitions, but they are willing to provide information about current showings to library visitors who are interested. Artists wishing to show their work need to contact Garrett Crowell at [email protected] or Lisa Robert at [email protected] Space is at a premium, and must be shared with special collections and other presentations.
Linebaugh Public Library is open to the public Monday through Sunday. Masks are recommended. Curbside service is available Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and Sundays 1 – 5 p.m. Visit rclstn.org for more information.
Rutherford County Library System
105 W. Vine St.
Murfreesboro, TN 37130
Phone: (615) 893-4131 ext. 119
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m.
Friday and Saturday, 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, 1:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.