Bay County Public Library in Florida displays whimsical artwork
PANAMA CITY – A pair of art exhibits that inspire fun and fantasy are now open at the Bay County Public Library in Panama City.
“Starry Nights and Whimsical Days” features the work of Panama City Beach artist Diane Russo, and “Fantastical Felt Friends” focuses on 3D creations by Panama City artist Krista Eggleston.
Following:Russo discovers the artist inside
Russo is a self-taught artist who often works from her imagination to create beautiful acrylic paintings and landscapes. Her most recent exhibition will be presented throughout October and November in the Adult Services and Youth Services galleries.
Russo’s cottage series is inspired by Thomas Kinkade and his tropical sunsets series is inspired by the Florida Highwaymen. His most recent series features scenic starry nights.
Russo started painting in 2016.
“I didn’t have any class. My kids saw me doodling, and for my 57th birthday they bought me an easel,” she told the News Herald in 2018. “I sat down and I painted a landscape in pastel chalk in about an hour. I couldn’t stop after that. Almost every day I paint a picture. “
Russo will make a gift of painting, generously offering his acrylic painting “Winter in the Country” before the Christmas holidays. There is a table set up in the lobby to enter your name for the raffle. One entry per person. The winner will be selected on November 30.
Fantastic Felt Friends
Eggleston’s “Fantastical Felt Friends” are all hand-crafted soft sculptures cut, sewn and hand-built with intricate embroidery and detailing. Most of the pieces featured have a literary theme (like “Alice in Wonderland”) or things you can do with your library card.
Following:Library exhibits feature local artists
There’s a unicorn playing the ukulele, various magical reading creatures, and even a telescope. These gentle sculptures are on display in the lobby window under Paul Brent’s mural in October and November.
Anyone can do art, Eggleston told the News Herald in 2018, adding, “Art is not about producing something but the experience of learning about ourselves.”
Largely self-taught, Eggleston has been making art for as long as she can remember.
“I actually failed in art in high school,” she said. “I took almost all of the visual art studio classes at (Gulf Coast State College) about five years ago. Ironically, I was never able to take painting lessons while I was there.
The Bay County Public Library, 898 W. 11th St. in Panama City, is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. For more information, visit www.nwrls.com or call 850-522-2100.