Monday, September 17, 2018

17 Poets, 27 Poems: Ekphrastic Poetry Event a Success!

We would like to thank all of the poets, audience, and Friends of the Library for making our 2nd Annual Ekphrastic Poetry Reading and Contest a resounding success with over 50 people in attendance at this year's event.  We look forward to hosting this event again in 2019!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Ike Rodriguez art exhibit at FPL through June

Isaac "Ike" Rodriguez

I grew up in La Porte, Texas, a small community located on Galveston Bay, approximately 25 miles from downtown Houston. I am the second of four children born to Francisco and Lucy Rodriguez.  Since childhood, I have had artistic aspirations. I started teaching myself how to draw using the text books my father brought home from a continuing education course he was taking at a local college.  From that point on, I was always drawing.

My first commissioned work was a color pencil portrait for a former employer, Lin Pfeiffer. After that first commission, I started Ike’s Art Studio. My artistic career has since flourished. I have done commissions for family, friends and NFL players such as Reggie Wayne, Donnie Avery, Nate Washington, DeAndre Hopkins and Sean Porter. I look forward to what the future brings for Ike’s Art Studio. My long term goal includes working for a professional athletic team, but I always want to maintain a personal relationship with all of my patrons.

When it comes to my artistic style, I like to combine colorful abstract backgrounds with realistic portraits to bring out the emotions and depth of the subjects. While my subject matter varies according to my clients’ needs, I most enjoy painting portraits and people.  I like to capture the emotion and energy that I see in my clients.

My influences include artistic giants such as Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte, Johannes Vermeer, Vincent Van Gogh, and Leroy Nieman.   Sports artists, such as my mentor Robert Hurst, have also been tremendously influential on my work. Robert taught me how to paint and definitely is my “Obi Wan”. In addition to Hurst, I find inspiration in the work of Vernon Wells and Stephen Holland.

My most important personal inspiration has and always will be my mother Lucy. She taught me how to work hard and put pride in whatever you do, no matter if it’s sweeping the floor or painting someone’s portrait.  The commitment to your craft and the dedication to your client will appear in the quality of your work more than anything else. She was an exceptional person and the best role model and mother anyone could ever have. Everything I do, I do in honor of her.  R.I.P. Lucy Rodriguez 1948-2006.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Constant Fires at FPL

Acclaimed Chickasaw poet and long-time Friendswood resident, Rebecca Hatcher Travis, recently donated a copy of her second collection of poems, Constant Fires.  Rebecca’s first collection, Picked Apart the Bones, won the First Book Award from the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas.  The Friendswood Library has a copy of both of these books for check-out. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

2018 FPL Outstanding Cultural Programming Award recipient is ESL Instructor Stephanie Peirce

Stephanie Peirce (Center) with Friendswood Library ESL Learners

In November of 2014, library director Mary Perroni and the Friendswood Library board approved the establishment of an annual award to recognize an individual who has provided outstanding cultural programming to the Friendswood Library community. 

The Friendswood Public Library is proud to announce the 2018 recipient of this annual Outstanding Cultural Programming award is Stephanie Pilar Peirce.

Stephanie Peirce and her husband moved to Friendswood six years ago from the East Coast and immediately fell in love with the live oaks, the crowned night herons, the sandhill cranes, and the welcoming neighbors. Leaving a background in social work, Stephanie began tutoring ESL/ABE students at Adult Reading Center in Pearland and took a position as Program Coordinator at Literacy Advance of Houston in Clear Lake. After training to tutor ESL/ELA for Harris County Libraries in Galena Park and Webster, and participating in their Book Buddies Program which encourages reading skills in children grades K-3rd, Stephanie began looking for opportunities closer to home. Fortuitously, Friendswood Library was undergoing its renovation and transformation. Upon meeting with reference librarian Kim Zrubek, they quickly discovered their shared passion for literacy, and in September 2016 Friendswood Library ESL Conversation classes were launched. Since that time they have held about 50 class sessions and supported 50 learners in their journey.

ESL learners have come from Brazil, China, Colombia, Honduras, India, Iran, Italy, Mexico, Pakistan, South Korea, Ukraine, Venezuela, and Vietnam, with languages including Chinese/Mandarin, Korean, Spanish, Italian, Farsi/Persian, Vietnamese, Portuguese, Japanese, Ukrainian/Russian, Hindi, and Gujarati.

The 2018 Outstanding Cultural Programming award will be presented to Stephanie Peirce at the conclusion of the Poets in the Loop poetry reading program on Thursday, February 22nd from 7 – 8pm.    

Friday, January 19, 2018

The Fine Art of Stacy Gresell on Exhibit at FPL thru March 16

I love objects with multiple personalities- recognizable things that change when incorporated in a piece of artwork.  I see that in my work- where antiques and recycled or found objects suggest one thing while the image may suggest another.  I love how the layering of encaustic wax reflects the light differently depending on your viewpoint- like water and glass do.

I teach communication at a local community college where I encourage students to look at all sides of the story and I believe my artwork does the same.  I am largely a self-taught encaustic painter and I enjoy thinking about the whole piece- the frames in my work, all handmade by me, are usually recycled from some former life and integral to the piece.  I have experience with a wide range of artistic mediums:  lampwork glass, stained glass, oil, acrylic & watercolor painting, jewelry making, silver smithing, sewing, and leather work… and they all end up in a painting at some point.   I live and work with my family in Cypress, Texas.