By Linda Fausz
Chester Library nearly doubled its usual Saturday traffic when over 700 children, teens and adults got a taste of all different kinds of art, on Saturday, during Chester Library’s roll-out signature event “A Taste of Art.” Activity was happening in every corner and the excitement was felt throughout with staff and volunteers dressed in black and sporting colorful berets, to represent the long-standing stereotype of the intellectual, film director, artist, hipster, or poet.
“Our goal was to celebrate all types of art,” said Jessica Harshbarger. Harshbarger was Chester Library’s branch manager when she and her staff were brainstorming for a signature event for the library. She is now branch manager for Midlothian Library. “Each branch has its own signature event and with the library’s ongoing relationship with the Chesterfield Center for the Arts with monthly art exhibits with local artists, it was a natural and we wanted it to be Chester focused.”
There was showcase performances and workshops; something for all ages.
Dichelle Jordan, a senior at Thomas Dale High School Specialty Center for the Arts, attended Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) workshop on Careers in Art. Jordan will be attending Old Dominion University majoring in Graphic Design and Marketing. “Coming here [attending the workshop] definitely helps. I had a lot of minor details that I needed answers on,” she said. Jordan did see possibility of finding a career in her art. VMFA Jessica Bausernan said there was a lot of interest from students and parents. “The older students did ask a lot of questions,” she said.
Madison Clark, a freshman is also enrolled in the Specialty Center for the Arts at Thomas Dale. She attended the artist showcase by Jessica St. Thomas who gave an art demonstration. Asked if the demonstration was helpful, Clark said, “I learned that you can use a straw in watercolor.”
“We had a door count of 704 during the event, the hours of 10 a.m. until 3, and a total for the whole day of 800,” said Kelly Dalton, acting assistant branch manager. “Our usual Saturday averages about 430 for the whole day.”