|Bangor Public Library, 145 Harlow Street, Bangor, Maine|
Since the days of its humble beginnings in 1830 as the Bangor Mechanics Association, with a collection of just seven books stored in a footlocker, the Bangor Public Library has served its community as a place of learning and sharing, not only in the form of books, but also in the form of exhibits, lectures, workshops, and social gatherings.
|The Bangor Public Library |
displays art and artifacts from both
the past and the present.
I have known this library since I was a child, but even to this day I feel small climbing its massive stone steps and entering through its immense oak doorway that leads the way to a wealth of knowledge—vast knowledge I can merely sample portions of over my entire lifetime. I love this place!
I love the Bangor Public Library even more when its exhibits, lectures, book signings, and other events pay tribute to people I know in the area. With that being said, I’d like to introduce you to Debbie Story Alexander. Over the years we have been both colleagues at EMHS and friends, so I am delighted the Bangor Public Library recognizes her talent as an artist. Her acrylic paintings are presently part of the library’s many exhibits. You’ll find her work on display in the Stairwell Gallery. Other local Maine artists with works on display are Peg Hanson in the Stairwell Gallery Display Case and members of the Bangor Art Society in the Lecture Hall.
Pictures are worth a thousand words, so I’ll scatter some images of Debbie’s paintings throughout the rest of this blog, which will focus on the rekindled passion Debbie has for creating them. Her own words and works of art tell her story best.
|Debbie Story Alexander, Artist|
“I am not sure if I have always had the good fortune to be surrounded by very talented people or if I just recognize that all people have talent, they just don't always know it or show it.
A family friend used to have me scribble on a piece of paper and he would add some scribbles of his own and turn my little scribble into a cartoon character or scene. Each little scribble can be the start of an amazing painting and each person scribbling has the potential to be an artist.
I did some drawing in high school art classes under Christopher Pike. After high school I didn't draw very much. I had three children and worked full time so there was no time left for drawing or painting.”
After Debbie’s marriage of twenty-seven years unfortunately ended in divorce in 2007, and with her children grown, she found she had time on her hands and needed something to do. Watching her sister, Linda Story Kam, paint made her realize it was something she missed. With the encouragement of her best friend (and current husband) she purchased supplies and took some art classes offered through Bangor and Hampden Adult Education programs.
She also credits her husband, Joe, for lending a critical eye and advice, as well as his moral support. “If I’m in the middle of a painting and can’t get the color just right, I get input from Joe. He is very good with color. I have tried to encourage him to paint, as well, but have not succeeded, yet. We do watch Bob Ross painting shows together.”
Now that she’s back into the swing of it, she is dedicated to her art. Debbie says, “I paint almost every day. I am inspired by my grandchildren, gardens, nature, and architecture.” You can clearly see that in her work.
If you are in or near Bangor, Maine, it’s worth a trip to Harlow Street to check out what is happening at the Bangor Public Library. You are sure to run into much more than a collection of books. Debbie Story Alexander’s exhibit, Gardens, Grounds, and Children, will be displayed at the library through the end of February. Her work is also currently on display in the cafeteria at Eastern Maine Medical Center on State Street, also in Bangor.
|Paintings by Debbie Story Alexander, Maine Artist|
Stairwell Gallery Lobby, Bangor Public Library
145 Harlow Street, Bangor, Maine
Note: A Commemorative History of the Bangor Public Library,
Seven Books in a Footlocker, is offered for sale at the library’s circulation desk.
© Copyright Gail J. VanWart 2013 All Rights Reserved
Gail J. VanWart is a regular contributor to theSCENE: