I was amazed and delighted at how many columns about the arts in Gwinnett I had fall into my lap over the last few months. Not only did I get to write about the art scene in our county, but through responses to my columns, I also connected with several more artists who will be the subject of future columns. And, through my column, several artists connected with each other. My research even provided me an opportunity to reconnect with the Post's Art Beat columnist, Holley Calmes, whom I had the pleasure of meeting last year when we were both writing about the Gwinnett Ballet's "Nutcracker."
So now, what just fell into my lap is Gwinnett Library's "Fall into the Arts" program, giving everyone the opportunity to experience the arts.
First up are two nationally known authors to help celebrate 2012 Gwinnett Reads. On Sept. 29, children's author Carmen Deedy will present her book "Return of the Library Dragon" at the Lawrenceville Branch. Then on Oct. 7, Natasha Trethewey, a Pulitzer Prize winner and Poet Laureate of the United States, will take the stage at Georgia Gwinnett College.
To add some drama to the celebration, on Oct. 11 the New Dawn Theater in Duluth will present "The Caine Mutiny Court Martial," directed by Sherry Inbritsen.
And now, the really "arty" part: The "Chair-ish the Arts @ Your Library” contest in which everyone — individuals, groups and organizations — gets to be an artist. All you need is a chair and your imagination. Take your chair and paint it, cut it, stamp it, drill it, do whatever you want to enhance it. You can even include your company logo.
Now, I know what some of you are thinking: The only chairs I have, I paid a fortune for. Or inherited from my great-grandmother. Or lent to my son for his dorm room.
No problem, because here's where the real fun comes in. Just go to any of the charity thrift shops we have around the county: St. Vincent de Paul in Buford, Duluth and Lilburn, Quinn House in Lawrenceville, Lily's Cloak in Lilburn, ReStore in Lawrenceville, Atlanta Mission Thrift Store and Hands of Christ, both in Duluth. And don't forget Goodwill and Salvation Army.
They have all kinds of chairs, all cast-offs, just sitting around waiting to be re-imagined into a new life. And while you're there, be sure to look around at all the clothing, jewelry, toys, shoes, books, tools, knickknacks, etc. you can use to decorate your new creation. It won't cost you much money, and every cent you spend at any of these stores will go toward helping people in need. Everyone wins.
And who knows, you might discover you are so good at this that Steve Slotin will have to create a whole new category for you in his next Folk Art Festival!
More info: www.gwinnettpl.org
Susan Larson is a writer from Lilburn. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.