Library book bag features local artist

Friends of the Alexander Hamilton Memorial Free Library President Mary Lou Misner and artist Seth Holmes stand at the Martha's Garden bench at the library that is pictured on a new bookbag available at the library. NANCY MACE/FOR LOCAL.NEWS

The painting on a new library book bag is helping to support a local artist’s mission to capture the history and charm of Waynesboro through his watercolors.

Seth Holmes’ whimsical work of Marthas’s Garden in the courtyard at the rear of Alexander Hamilton Memorial Free Library is being sold as a fundraiser for its Friends group. The 10- by 12-inch canvas book bags are available at the library at 45 E. Main St. for $20 each.

“Organized in 1978, we’re proud to continue to support the library, which offers programs for all members of the community,” said Friends of the Library President Mary Lou Misner. “We also have a bookstore in the library full of good, used books at bargain prices and we invite you to join the Friends group.”

Holmes, a watercolor artist based in Waynesboro, donated his time to create the painting for the bag. “It is really lovely, and for me, is a memory of something that Martha enjoyed doing – reading in the backyard of the library,” said Marge Kiersz of Waynesboro, who commissioned the work of her late daughter Martha sitting on a bench. “Shortly after she died in 2014, the library had a fundraising campaign for its expansion. I knew right away I wanted to donate money for the garden/green space (at the library) and I wanted the statue of Martha to be there.”

“We had a tradition. We would each get a doughnut at Douglas Pastry Shop a few doors down and then come back to the library and eat them and read books,” Kiersz said. “I love the painting of the girl (on the bag). She’s smiling and looks like she’s happy to be reading.”

The bench at the library depicts Martha at one end reading a book, an image her mother requested, “so that other people could sit there with her.” 

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