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Art at the Library - about

The Jasper County Public Library provides limited space at each of our locations for display of original works of art and crafts, as well as display of private collections. These exhibits, as approved by library staff, are encouraged as a cultural expression of local community activity.

For more information, please read our Art Exhibit and Display Case Use Policy. Or stop in or call with questions.

Childhood in South Africa depicted in works by Rensselaer artist

Rensselaer May, 2023

Hi, I am Emily Jane, the 17-year-old artist of all the paintings you see and I work here at the library.

If you are actually reading this bio, thank you, cause that means you took two minutes out of whatever you are currently doing, stopped and looked.

I was born and raised in South Africa for ten years, so many of my paintings are inspired by memories of my childhood home.

Besides that, I draw/paint whatever inspires me in that current moment and then, maybe, if the burst of creativity lasts that long, I’ll finish it on the same day, which is a rare occurrence, so I have no idea how long any of these took me.

They are not by any means what some would call professional, but they’re mine, and they are not perfect because I’m not perfect, no artist or human is.

That’s why I like to paint, I can mess up, be colorful, weird, maybe even not quite complete and that’s ok, but then again art is a reflection.

Ok, I’m going to stop trying to sound poetic and just say

“These are my painting’s and I hope they make you smile, or if anything cause you to pause and distract you from this over complicated/crazy life.”


John Groppe presents The Art of Still Life Photography at the Rensselaer Library in March and April

Rensselaer March, 2023Photo of a smiling man in his 80s in a dress shirt, bow tie, and sweater.

A still life photograph is a constructed photo in that the photographer chooses the elements of the photo and arranges them. There are three aspects of this mode of photography.

First is the primary focus. In my photos displayed here, fruits, vegetables and flowers are the primary focus. These items have their own shapes, colors, and textures. Second is the base or platform on or in which the items are displayed such as plates, dishes, and bowls. These add their own colors, shapes, and textures. Finally, there is the stage on which the objects are presented. Some of my photos were shot outdoors, some indoors and in either case in different kinds of lighting. More colors, shapes, and textures become part of the photo. The lighting illuminates but also creates shadows, both of which can enhance the photo.

As you view my photos, notice all three aspects-the subject matter, the platform that serves up the items, and the stage and its elements. Notice them all. Whether you start with the central objects and then work out to the full scene or work from the full scene inward to the central objects. Try to discern how all three elements work together, and do not overlook the base that serves the objects to you.

Some of these photos have been digitally modified. These modifications offer a degree of abstraction that highlights or intensifies some aspects of the photos and downplays other aspects. Compare some of the digitized photos with the unmodified ones. What stands out more in the digitized photos?

For inspiration I sometimes use still life works by other photographers or painters as you can see in the photo of my work boots. That photo was modeled on Van Gogh'; many paintings of work boots.

I would be happy to discuss my photos if you are interested in learning more.

Artist's Bio: I have been interested in photography and visual art all my life but became deeply involved in photography only in the second half of my life. My wife and I came to Rensselaer in 1962 to teach at Saint Joseph's College and to start our family, which ultimately was a family of five children. Rose Marie taught philosophy and later math, always on a part time basis. I taught literature and writing courses and retired in 2003 as a Professor Emeritus of English. I have been a long-standing member of The Jasper County Art League and the Prairie Arts Council, both of which gave me encouragement as well as ideas and techniques for my photography as well as opportunities to present my work.

John D. Groppe
638 W. Washington St,
Rensselaer, IN 47978
papagroppe@gmail.com


Kayla DeJong shares paintings and crafts at Rensselaer Library through February

Rensselaer January, 2023The artist standing with several canvases of her artwork on the wall.

Kayla de Jong has lived in Rensselaer her entire life. She enjoys a variety of art mediums, including crocheting, writing poetry, scrapbooking, photography, and painting.

She usually paints with acrylics on canvas (which is what most of the pieces on display are). Besides what she made in an art class throughout her homeschooling years, most of the works Kayla creates are from self-taught methods, books she has read, or YouTube videos she has watched.

Her dream is to someday build a business based on her creations. To see what other types of things she has made recently, you can visit her Etsy shop at etsy.com/shop/swaggerandswain.

The artist standing with her craft items in a display case.