RRLIB, Bath Branch has salt painting for youth, and more

July is Art Month at the Bath Branch of the Rockbridge Regional Library. There are art activities offered for children, who join in with Summer Reading, and some additional classes on certain evenings. Renee Cardwell of Hot Springs was guiding about seven students and a couple of moms in Salt Painting on Tuesday afternoon. I asked her how she chose it for this day’s Summer Reading activity.

“It’s something that I found on the Internet, on Pinterest actually. And it was just something I said well, it looks fun; it’s looks easy, and I tried it out a couple of times, and said ‘Why not share it?’

“Did you have a sense that it might be just the right thing for this particular age group?”

“I think all ages could do this. Obviously we have some mom’s here that are doing it, and some teenagers. Yeah, it’s really something that all ages can do. It’s not very dirty, so it’s good to do with little kids, and it’s salt, so it’s not going to harm you.”

The budding artists were drawing out designs with liquid glue on sheets of black construction paper. Then they carefully sprinkled salt along the lines of glue. After just long enough to be sure the salt was staying where it was meant to, they shook it gently off the page. After a little bit of drying, or maybe adding some more salt, students added water color to the lines. I asked a few of them about their work.

“I just made a cat, with a heart on top of it because I love cats”, Lila described, just as she was beginning to cover her design with a wash of color.

I asked a young man for his name and what his artwork was about.

“Hunter Myers, age 9. I have no idea. I think it’s a peace sign, that says New York.”

‘And how did you choose what colors to paint the salt?’

“Well, my favorite color’s green, so I just threw a bunch of green on there, and then a couple more colors.”

And, as to what he thinks of this new and slightly different way of making a picture?

“I don’t know. I like it pretty good.”

I returned to Lila to ask what she likes about Summer Reading, and regular visits to the library.

“Um, that I get to read and read, and I just get to learn a lot more about books, and I can remember them, and I just love it.”

In a whole different room from the art tables, and Ms. Mary beginning to read pictures books, I asked a couple of teens to talk to me. Kyle agreed, and I asked him what the library does for him.

“It does a lot. I mean, you got the books, you can volunteer, and get your community service hours in, so you can do that. That’s a good thing to do. You can just come over here and relax, nice place to be. “

‘You like the air conditioning on a day like today?’

“Yeah, when it’s hot out.”

“Free Wi-Fi, not too bad either?”

“Yeah, it’s nice.”

“Anything you can say to people who haven’t gotten in here yet this summer?”

“They need to.”

The Bath Branch of the Rockbridge Regional Library has one more art activity scheduled in July. Another one, for adults only, has already filled up. And Summer Reading is not over yet. For more information the Library has a Facebook page, and a whole lot more about their services, including requesting, holding and renewing materials is available on the website,   which is rrlib.net .


Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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