Classes draw, exhibit at, Old Bath High School

Published 8:35 pm Monday, April 14, 2014

JONATHAN ROWE | DAILY NEWS A visitor at the grand opening of Bath Community Library examines a newly renovated lobby at the library.

A visitor at the grand opening of Bath Community Library examines a newly renovated lobby at the library.


BATH — Walk into the Bath Community Library today and the walls will be decorated with the work of budding artists. Walk into the Bath Community Library tomorrow, and it will be more of the same, but it will also be different.

To honor National Library Week, a unique, two-part exhibit is on display at the library’s new home in the Old Bath High School. Today and yesterday, drawings by Bath Elementary School art students decorate the walls. Tomorrow, the exhibit will come down to be replaced with works by Northside High School art students. The subject of all drawings: the Old Bath High School, a fitting display for the renovated school’s new tenant, according to Susan Benning, executive director of Beaufort-Hyde-Martin Regional Library.

The work displayed, however, was not created on a whim. A Bath resident and longtime supporter of the school’s renovation project, Marti Buchanan, came up with the idea of an arts competition. She enlisted the help of Northside High School art teacher Joe Burns and Bath Elementary teacher Ruth Miller to help produce the best rendition of the old high school. Two $100 cash prizes will be awarded to one winner each from Northside and Bath schools, donations made anonymously in honor of Warren Bonner Smith, a 1966 Bath High School alumnus.

“We’re going to display each school’s art for two days. At 5 p.m. on the end of the second day, prizes will be awarded. Then the two winning pieces will be on display for a period of time,” Benning said.

Bath’s community library has regularly hosted shows from neighboring schools, but now that the library has tripled its space, more shows and even a wall hanging system for a regular rotation of exhibits is in the works, an expense that would protect the walls from hammers and nails, Benning said.

“The walls in the building are historical — they’re plaster walls. They spent a lot of money painting them, so we don’t want a bunch of holes in them,” she explained.

The student art competition is the first exhibit to go up at the library, a fact that had both library employees and the students excited, Benning said.

At 5 p.m. today, the Bath Elementary School winner will be selected. Northside’s winner will be announced at 5 p.m. Thursday. The public is invited to view the artwork and support local student-artists throughout the week.

Bath Community Library will be closed for Good Friday.