Visit this space to find out the latest happenings at Muhlenberg County Public Libraries!
Harbin Memorial Library
117 South Main St
Central City Public Library
108 East Broad St
Genealogy & Local History Annex
111 South Main St
122 S Cherry St
Visit this space to find out the latest happenings at Muhlenberg County Public Libraries!
Muhlenberg County Public Libraries has scheduled the next two programs in their popular “Thursdays at Thistle” series.
The library will host two Chautauqua history programs over the next two months.
Kentucky Chautauqua’s Rachel Rogers will present her “Jean Ritchie: Damsel with a Dulcimer” program at Thistle Cottage on September 21 at 7 p.m.
Jean Ritchie was born in Perry County, Ky. Her recording career began in 1952 and spanned more than 30 albums before her death in 2015.
Ritchie’s work, which featured her mountain dulcimer playing, reflected her Kentucky life and her love of the state’s natural beauty. Even as she graduated from college and moved to New York City, where she would spend most of her adult life, Ritchie never lost her Kentucky roots. Instead, she focused on them, using her knowledge of the state and of music to bring attention to issues plaguing the Appalachian region.
Ritchie eventually became known as the “Mother of Folk” in recognition of her contributions to the art form. Her songs have been covered by many famous artists, including Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt and Dolly Parton. She was recorded extensively by famed folklorist and musician Alan Lomax for the Library of Congress.
Ritchie is portrayed by actress Rachel Lee Rogers. Rogers has worked with the School for the Creative Performing Arts at Bluegrass (SCAPA), the Bluegrass Opera, Woodford Theatre, Actors Guild of Lexington, Lexington Shakespeare Festival, Studio Players, the Lexington Public Library and now the Kentucky Humanities Council’s Chautauqua program.
In October, Chautauqua presenter Kelly O. Brengelman will visit Thistle Cottage to present her “Madeline McDowell Breckinridge: Votes for Women!” program. Breckinridge was an activist in the early 1920s who fought hard for women’s suffrage and many other social improvements.
That program will be held on October 19, 2017 at 7 p.m. at Thistle Cottage.
Both of these programs will be presented free of charge. Light refreshments will be provided.
For more information about either of these programs, contact Muhlenberg County Public Libraries at 270-338-4760.
Kentucky Chautauqua is a presentation of the Kentucky Humanities Council. Local funding is provided by the Felix E. Martin Jr. Foundation.
Join Muhlenberg County Public Libraries on September 19 at 6 p.m. at Thistle Cottage for a discussion about the history of the U.S. space program with author Ron Elliott! Elliott will talk about NASA’s Apollo program, including his personal history working on these historic missions.
Elliott helped create training programs for NASA’s ground controllers to learn how to read and interpret navigation information for the Apollo missions. His discussion will include the history of the Apollo program and NASA’s space exploration efforts, as well as information about his involvement with the missions.
Elliott is a native Kentuckian. In addition to his work on the Apollo program, he has worked as a community college faculty member and has written several books based on true historical events. He also works as a speaker with the Kentucky Humanities Council’s Speakers Bureau. His books will be available at the program.
Call 270-338-4760 for more information about this FREE program!
Update: The NASA exhibit will officially open Wednesday, September 6 at 11 a.m. with everything except for the spacesuit. The spacesuit will be added to the exhibit upon its arrival later in the week. The exhibit should be complete by the end of the week.
The NASA exhibit will be available during regular Thistle Cottage hours through September 25. Thistle Cottage is open Mon.-Fri. from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed 12-1 for lunch) as well as for special events. The building may also be available for appointments outside these hours for group visits. Call 270-338-4760 for more information.
Muhlenberg County Public Libraries is over the moon about their upcoming exhibit at Thistle Cottage.
September’s featured exhibit at Thistle Cottage will include a space exploration-related exhibit provided by NASA, as well as a meteorite display from Greenville’s House of Onyx.
The exhibit will include items from NASA Langley’s artifact collection, including a replica Apollo-era spacesuit, several spacesuit gloves and other astronaut apparel, food and drink containers designed for use in space, a training helmet and a model of the Space Launch System used by NASA.
House of Onyx will provide pieces from their collection that originally came from a meteorite.
According to library director Janet Harris, library staff are looking forward to the exhibit. “We are beyond pleased to be chosen as a recipient of this NASA exhibit!” Harris said. “We hope this will allow families and school groups to visit and see this exhibit without traveling out of town.
“The experience of seeing actual items from NASA is one that will be a lasting one for our families and students who will visit.”
Amie Waltrip, archivist at Muhlenberg County Public Library’s Thistle Cottage and exhibit coordinator, echoed Harris’s sentiments. “I’m so excited, “Waltrip said. “I can’t wait to get this exhibit and be able to share it with everyone.”
Harris added that one goal for the exhibit is to encourage more interest in science-related topics. “We hope that families and educators will take advantage of this exhibit to teach and encourage questions about science and space,” she said.
“Who knows? Someday we may have an astronaut from Muhlenberg County.”
Waltrip noted that this exhibit is only one of several science-related exhibits coming up for Muhlenberg County Public Libraries in the next year. The Central City library will host the Kentucky Science Center’s “Science in Play 2 Go” exhibit, featuring several interactive elements for children, in March, April and May 2018, and Thistle Cottage will host “Explore Space: Our Solar System and Beyond” from the Space Science Institute in June and July 2018.
September’s NASA exhibit is made possible by NASA Langley Research Center’s traveling exhibits program, with additional exhibit support from the House of Onyx. “We are so grateful to NASA and the House of Onyx for allowing us to borrow these items,” Harris and Waltrip agreed.
“Beyond Earth: NASA’s Space Exploration” will be on display at Thistle Cottage throughout the month of September. Opening and closing dates for the exhibit are pending as the library awaits final notification from NASA that the exhibit has been shipped, but the exhibit is expected to open in early September. Dates will be announced as soon as possible.
Follow Muhlenberg County Public Libraries on Facebook for more information and continued updates on this exciting exhibit.
August’s featured artist at Thistle Cottage is Lucinda Scharf, commonly known in the area as Rooti Patooti.
Scharf, a local artist, is well known in the region for her artwork. Her show at Thistle Cottage opens Aug. 1 and will remain open throughout the month of August. She will visit Thistle Cottage from 5-7 p.m. on Aug. 17 for an open house and reception in honor of her show. Light refreshments will be provided. Everyone is invited to join us to meet the artist and view and discuss her work!
Scharf’s biography and artist statement is posted below.
Artist Lucinda Scharf, a.k.a. Rooti Patooti, is celebrating her 15th year as a fulltime artist. She
lives in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, among the rolling farmlands leading to Lake Malone and
finds endless inspiration there. She creates the majority of her paintings in her home studio and
then transports them to where they are to be displayed and sold. Other artwork is sold directly
from her studio to customers shopping online via facebook.
Lucinda Scharf has been creating her entire life, but it wasn’t until moving to Rosewood,
Kentucky, 15 years ago, that she had an actual art studio and allowed creating art to take over
her life. In short order, Scharf had a multitude of paintings that needed an audience, and with
the aid of her ever-supportive husband, Dr, Craig Scharf, they opened their home to the public
to view her paintings. For seven years, the weekends were dedicated to open studio visits, talks
and tours and the remaining time to painting and tending their homestead. It was always
interesting and a rewarding time. But when the dream opportunity presented itself for Scharf to
become a working store artist for a new business in an old historic downtown, she couldn’t resist
the new challenge. So Scharf closed her home gallery and began welcoming the public to
experience her art in a new setting at the store called On Main.
Many have come to associate the name “Rooti Patooti” with this bustling On Main store in
downtown Greenville, Kentucky, where Scharf has been store artist since 2009. On Main is
owned and run by the highly creative mother and daughter team of Vicki Slinker and Sabrina
Scott. Scharf collaborates with them to design art that complements the store’s seasonal look
and vibe or to fill niches and needs within the community. The store is a hub of ideas and
activity for home and lake decor, fashion, gift giving, and of course Rooti Patooti’s Art. Scharf
also fills special order commissions as time permits. At Christmastime, many people have
created the tradition of gifting Rooti Patooti’s original whimsical snowmen and delight in telling
the artist about who they are giving them to this year. Scharf especially enjoys being in the store
during the Christmas season and will pull up a spot in the store to create small original art as
she visits. Customers are free to watch and ask questions and she is often able to design a
special snowman gift while customers do their downtown shopping.
This August is Scharf’s first exhibit at Thistle Cottage in Greenville, Kentucky, but she is no
stranger to this location. Scharf was artist in residence at this location for seven years when it
was known as the Duncan Cultural Center. She exhibited numerous times over the years,
created yearbook cover art, taught soft pastel art classes and volunteered time and resources.
Scharf is a self-taught artist who has always found ways to express herself with her hands.
Everything she sees is art! As a child, she was imprinted with the love for being outdoors, the
awesomeness of nature, and places less traveled, especially old downtowns. While growing up,
she spent her free time playing outside with siblings in their big yard, farmers’ fields, and in the
river and mountains by her home. Tending to a variety of animals at home and helping in family
gardens also cultivated a respect and fascination for living things and their characteristics.
These early life experiences and sense of wonder, respect and humbleness, are always
evidenced in the paintings she creates and how she lives out her adult life.
As you look at Scharf’s paintings in this month’s exhibit, you’ll notice that they are behind glass,
but look like they could be oil paintings. These paintings were created by using soft pastels (dry,
pure pigments that have been pressed into what looks like chalk). These paintings could
actually smear if displayed without the protection of glass. Since Scharf is a very hands on
person, she finds painting with soft pastels (pastels) to be a satisfying way to get her hands
dirty. When she paints, she picks up the pastel with her bare fingers and rubs it upon a rough
textured surface, layer-after- layer, one color at a time. The building up of layers of different
colors is how the pastel medium mixes, unlike with other forms of painting which require blobs
of wet paint to be mixed on a pallet and then applied to a painting with a brush. Soft pastel
painting is hands on, no brushes are required, and no drying time is needed.
What is also unique about pastel art is that it began as a primitive art form; think caveman
drawings made with plant pigments smeared onto walls. In later centuries pastels were used to
make sketches that were then painted over with oil paint. Pastels were not even considered a
painting medium until the 19th century. Scharf gives thanks to some of her favorite artists like
Edgar Degas and Mary Cassatt who made her passion for pastel painting a viable and valuable
art medium today.
Scharf’s body of artwork for this month’s exhibit represent the land and observations in nature
that are close to her home and heart. The essence of Rooti Patooti’s art is joyfulness,
brightness and reverence which spills forth from rambles among quiet lanes, gardens, hillsides,
rivers, fields and streams. Don’t be surprised if after viewing the exhibit that you find the sudden
urge to go out for a walk!
(Photos and artist statement/bio courtesy of Lucinda Scharf)