A local artist exhibits his works at the public library

When patrons enter the Spring Hill Library during the months of April and May, they will have the opportunity to experience more than their normal book selection. They see an art gallery in the main hall of the library that features the colorful portraits of a local artist exploring and displaying the brilliance of nature.

Jana Withers, a longtime Nature Coast Art League member and spokesperson, who also owns “Let It Be Art Studio” in Spring Hill, is the artist exhibiting eight oil-on-linen portraits on the walls of the Spring Hill Library. It will be an exuberant gallery exhibit resulting from a partnership between the league and the Hernando County Library System. “It’s always a joy to see others enjoy your art as much as you did creating it,” said Jana Withers.
One of the paintings titled “Docked” is an 8×10 oil on linen panel painted on location at the Tarpon Springs Art Association’s October 2021 paint and photo event. It sold first day of the exhibition. Other paintings included are “A New Day”, an 8 by 10 portrait of a deer standing in foliage, the 8 by 10 “Heard It Through the Grapevine” and “Baby Bear”, an 5 by 7 portrait of a Teddy bear.

“I became a member of NCAL in 2004 when our name was Spring Hill Art League. At that time, the Spring Hill Library was displaying artwork for our “Artist of the Month” winner. Later they opened a space for a “featured artist” where several works could be exhibited and we changed our name to Nature Coast Art League. Since Art League general meetings are held from September to May, it was decided to open the “Featured Artist” exhibition to non-members to ensure year-round exhibitions. Today, NCAL member Yolanda Barreto coordinates our Artist of the Month and curates year-round exhibitions at the library. The exhibitions are currently 2 months long and I think she has artists due to exhibit until next year or more,” Withers said.
Conservationist, artist and educator, Jana Withers states on her website that her goal as an artist is to create art for art’s sake and to look for ways to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary! Her favorite artistic expression is “outdoors”, with images capturing the vibrancy and beauty of the outdoors.

“The way I see life and the way it should be creatively portrayed is changing every day. I believe it’s more important than ever to create art that entertains,” she writes on her website www. janawithers.com “Capturing a moment in time that makes someone smile or appreciate the beauty around it is what I hope to achieve as an artist. If my visual works create joy, then I will have succeeded in making our world a better place.

Withers studied fine art at the Foropoulos School of Art in Tarpon Springs and studied independently with nationally and internationally renowned artists. She has also exhibited her work at Loudon House Gallery, Ruth Eckerd Hall, Beck Gallery, Leepa Rattner Museum of Art, Pasco Hernando State College, Dunedin Fine Arts and Pasco Fine Arts and More. Currently his work is exhibited at the Dunedin Fine Arts Center, the Spring Hill Library and the Uptown Art Gallery in Brooksville.

“We always look forward to the opportunity the Spring Hill Library has given us to showcase the works of our Nature Coast Art League members. Many people may not be aware of the talent within our community and these exhibits will be admired by all who enter. It can also encourage them to seek out our league and be part of a group where artists like to gather,” said Linda Graves, President of the Nature Coast Art League.

Hernando County Public Library System Operations Coordinator Colleen Ludington released an HCPL statement (especially prepared for Art Beat) that chronicles the library system’s successful relationship with NCAL and the Hernando art scene. The statement reads, “The Hernando County Public Library began collaborating with the Nature Coast Art League (NCAL) a few years after the Spring Hill Branch Library opened in 2006. This branch of the system of Hernando County Libraries features artwork by members of the NCAL Artist Group. These members then vote on a special piece to be displayed in a different area of ​​the library on a monthly basis. An artist biography is displayed alongside their artwork to provide an interesting history of the artist and his approach to painting. We look forward to reaching out and working with Hernando County’s talented arts organizations in the future. We want to provide our community with exhibits that create a nurturing environment and cultivate a culture that brings the community together, inspires collaboration, and enriches life. With these valuable perks that the arts community offers, it’s something worth investing in. The Hernando County Public Library will continue to host art exhibits as a channel to facilitate community participation and outreach to local arts groups and artists. Along with the many other resources the library has to offer its public, community art exhibits are a quick method to engage visitors of all ages and backgrounds.

Julia P. Cluff