The purpose of the Art Gallery of the Cartersville Public Library are to present exhibits to stimulate the appreciation and knowledge of art; introduce and encourage local artists; and reach non-traditional library patrons. The Art Gallery space is the hallway between the main reception area and the administrative offices of the Cartersville Library. Equal opportunity to exhibit is extended to all Georgia artists, with Bartow County artists receiving preference. Exhibits will be considered in regard to artistic expression, subject, style, medium, intended audience, community relevance, genre, and ease of installation. Exhibits will consist of original art by local artists, either individuals or groups and exhibits in support of special library programming. A community standard may be applied due to the diverse age range served by the Library.

Applying for Exhibition:

Applications for the use of Art Gallery space are available at each library branch. Interested artists will complete the Art Gallery Application and Agreement to Exhibit form. This signed application and a list of items to be displayed must submitted prior to set-up of the exhibit.

Artists will submit print or digital photographs or examples of their work to the Gallery Committee. The resulting exhibit will consist of the artist’s original work and be representative of the items accepted by the Committee. If giclees or prints of the artist’s work are included they should be labeled as such. Reproductions or copies of masters or of widely circulated photographs or prints are not acceptable. The Art Gallery Committee chair and the Library Director reserve the right to excuse pieces from display they may deem inappropriate.

Featured Artist

Emily Smith

Growing up, I struggled in school and I always felt like everyone else around me got some sort of manual or cheat sheet on how to navigate life, and I just never got one. I ALWAYS felt like an outsider, or the dumb one, because it looked like everyone else just knew what to do and I never knew what to do. In high school I started staying up all night painting. I would paint literally all night long and not sleep before going to school the next morning, I would pull cardboard out of dumpsters or bring home pizza boxes from work and sit on my floor and paint. I would pour the colors out and squeeze them between my fingers, and spread them out because the more I saturated myself in colors and that textural act. I finally felt a click inside myself. The challenges I was facing suddenly would turn into puzzles I was completing through art. I would paint my sadness, my joy, all my struggles and sorrow. I felt the depression leave my body and what I was left with was quiet, peace.  

Now I am 27, I have an amazing husband and two beautiful little boys. 4 years ago I left my clerical job because I heard God say it was time. I always wanted to be an artist, it was the one area of my life that has always made sense to me. And it feels like God just said “This will always be what I created you to do, you can keep doing other things but I will come around to you again, and again until you say yes.” So I said yes and left my job, I started staying home with just my first son at the time. I have watched God open doors in my life that I never even saw before. He brings clarity and peace that surpasses my understanding. I still stay up late most nights when I’m working on a piece, and I have graduated from cardboard, but I still thrift most of my supplies. I often find old canvases and just refurbish them to reuse. A lot of my materials are acquired that way because 1) It’s affordable and 2) I just enjoy being able to repurpose things and not waste them.

Art is how I work through my thoughts and emotions. I build them up in colors and with texture. When I paint, the world gets quiet and settles around me, I am putting my heart on the outside for the world to see.

Emily Smith

Highlights from the past

The Cartersville Public Library has been very fortunate to host so many fabulous local and Georgia artists since 2005. Bartow native, Walt Floyd, was the first artist to exhibit in the Gallery – just in time for the grand opening of our new facility.