By Whitney Lowe, BCPL Public Relations Clerk
I love this little-big city. Ashland really has so much to offer: historic homes and buildings, a downtown Arts District, the beauty and spaciousness of Central Park, and let’s not forget, a neighborhood library. Step inside Boyd County Public Library and you will find that it is a hub for gatherings, creativity, entertainment and information, but there’s also a lot going on outside the Library, too. Every day, BCPL is out and about, delivering books and materials, building relationships with new community partners, even participating in yearly events like the Ashland Christmas Parade. This summer and fall is no different as the Library travels around the community, hosting a handful of events inspired by far-out photographs, childhood nostalgia and tall tales.
The world often looks different when viewed through the lens of a camera. Power lines transform the sky into an abstract network of creases and contours. A petal from a rose or a freckled cheek may appear as a fascinating landscape. Photographs can transport viewers to lands they’ve never been, introduce them to people they’ve never met, and conjure concepts and ideas they never before dreamed. With all of the artistic technology that is available, anything creative is possible – including the impossible, bizarre and out of this world.
This year’s fourth annual photo exhibit and competition rejoices all things unfamiliar, unusual and unexpected. “Escape the Ordinary,” in conjunction with the adult summer reading program, is a photo exhibit and competition featuring the work of local photographers.
The Pendleton Art Center will host a one night reception for the Escape the Ordinary exhibit and competition during the First Friday Art Walk on August 7, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Exhibitors and guests are invited to peruse the artwork, dish on tasty treats and vote for their favorite photograph. A People’s Choice Award and a $50 prize will be awarded to the photographer with the most public votes. The “unconventional” winner will be announced at the end of the evening’s reception.
All local photographers are encouraged to participate! To submit photographs, please drop off your framed, ready to hang photographs at the Main Branch by Thursday, August 6.
Growing up I heard plenty of stories about Friday nights spent at the drive-in movie theater. I remember being jealous, wishing that I had drive-in movie experiences of my own. My mother would often talk about the fun she and her family had at the drive-in, meeting up with friends, clowning around on the playground, spreading blankets on the grass and eating handfuls of freshly popped popcorn under the illumination of the stars and the big screen. Luckily, families today can get a taste of that nostalgic, drive-in experience at BCPL’s Pictures in the Park.
After you’ve strolled downtown’s First Friday event and voted for your favorite photograph at the Escape the Ordinary Photo Exhibit and Competition, follow the smell of popcorn to the Central Park Bandstand. On August 7, the outdoor movie series will wrap up with an adventure classic, “The Goonies.” The movie will begin at dark and all you need to bring is a comfy chair or blanket; the Library will take care of popcorn and tasty treats while community partner Kings’ Daughters provides water and a healthy snack. There’s no better way to end a summer day than sharing a spot in the grass under the night sky while watching a film favorite and creating memories that will make future generations jealous.
Pants on fire
Appalachian culture is characterized by a variety of talents and traditions: quilting, canning, bluegrass music, and of course, storytelling. There are also a mix of yearly events that are Ashland traditions, too. So it only makes sense that BCPL, in the spirit of traditions, host two “legendary” events that celebrate Appalachia history and heritage at this year’s 20th annual Poage Landing Days.
Storytellers’ Festival will kick-off the whopper of a day on Saturday, September 19. The event will feature a line-up of professional, Kentucky storytellers, ready to share their one-of-a-kind folklores with the Poage Landing Days crowd from BCPL’s custom made “front porch.” Stick around after the Storytellers’ Festival and share your own story at the Liars Contest! To participate, submit an original written story (not to exceed 15 minutes) by Tuesday, September 8. Selected participants will be notified by Friday, September 11.
See you around!
As summer whizzes by and the warm days turn into cool nights, gather up friends and family and explore the city. You may discover a new hobby, a new favorite restaurant or find a special piece of art. Wherever the city takes you, you may just run into a librarian or two along the way.
Boyd County Public Library
Main, 1740 Central Ave, Ashland
Catlettsburg, 2704 Louisa Street
(Kyova Mall across from Elder-Beerman)