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Artist donates work to help raise funds for town's library

March 05, 2003|by NICOLE RITCHEY

nritchey@herald-mail.com

SMITHSBURG - Smithsburg artist Carolyn Smith hopes her artwork will benefit her community, she said.

The self-taught painter donated 75 prints of her rendition of the old Smithsburg Library on East Water Street to the group spearheading the effort to build a bigger new library for residents of Smithsburg and the surrounding area, she said.

Friends of Smithsburg Library is trying to raise the remainder of the estimated $1 million needed to replace the current 1,096-square-foot library with a 10,000-square-foot library in Veterans Park.

The group has raised more than $650,000 in pledges and donations, and hopes to complete the fund-raising campaign by the end of the year so ground can be broken for the new library early in 2004, Library Board President Judith Ferro has said.

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To help the cause, Smith donated prints of her painting of the old stone library. The prints are being offered free of charge to donors who contributed $50 or more to the new library building fund, she said.

"I wanted to give something back to the town," Smith said. "I think Smithsburg is so beautiful ... It is a warm and friendly town."

She hopes her artistic incentive will encourage more people to contribute to the worthy cause, she said.

Her library painting is one in a series of local architectural works in Smith's collection of paintings. She enjoys capturing the regal beauty of old buildings on her canvases, she said.

"I just think it is awesome that they did the fancy look way back then," said Smith, who works in a home studio.

She started painting when her mother gave her a Norman Rockwell oil painting kit - complete with step-by-step instructions - about 30 years ago. Since then, Smith has been honing her hobby with practice and an art class at Hagerstown Community College, she said.

Smith works at the Washington County Health Department. In addition to painting, she enjoys cooking, gardening, country dancing with her husband Steve, and spending time with her children and grandchildren, she said.

Her son, Maryland State Police Trooper 1st Class D.W. Smith, was the first officer on the scene when two sniper suspects linked to 10 shooting deaths in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., were taken into custody at a highway rest stop off Interstate 70 near the Myersville, Md., exit on Oct. 24.

To make a donation to the library fund, please call 301-824-3741.

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