Art by the books

The library looked at 71 entries, and selected 38 of those to be displayed in the library's art gallery through the end of the month.

Librarian Melinda Taormina said, "The submissions came in fast and furious."

Madeline Sicko of Halfmoon, who also entered a piece last year, which the jurors selected, entered another award-winning watercolor this year.

"There is a lot of talent in the area, and I am tickled to be among them," Sicko said.

"To be chosen two consecutive years in a row is an honor," she continued.

Sicko's watercolor, which took third place in the painting category, allows for some viewer interpretation. Her painting shows the trunks of birch trees in a row surrounded by bright orange and yellow tones. Sicko said it is supposed to show the sun rising or setting, but she will allow the viewer to decide.

Although Sicko cannot remember exactly what inspired her to paint the piece, she said she remembered seeing the view somewhere.

"Just something about the way the light was hitting the birch trees struck me," she said.

After painting shop windows as a high school student in Brooklyn, Sicko became interested in the medium. However, she had taken a break from her hobby when she raised her family, but recently renewed her interest when her daughter gave her a clipping from the newspaper advertising a painting class. Sicko enrolled, and she now spends two hours a week in painting class.

Sicko said she often gives her work as gifts and would eventually like to open a gallery to display all of the local talent. She also said she feels refreshed after painting and is grateful to have an artistic outlet.

The library will also hand out 22 other awards during Saturday's reception. Awards will be given to Nancy Glover, Paul Lee and Kathryn Klompas for their experimental pieces; Cynthia Knox, Jonathan Newman and Jill Murphy in the category of pastels and pencils; and to Jean Wendover and Laurie Baram in the painting category.

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