Bay County Library fills galleries with two exhibits through July

PANAMA CITY — You can have the best of both worlds at Bay County Public Library with the pleasure of reading books and seeing art exhibitions during the same visit.

The library galleries are currently showing works by local artists Denise Nyland and David C. Williams through the end of July. In addition, both exhibits highlight the library’s summer reading theme. “Oceans of Possibilities”, which includes works of marine life in different art forms.

Summer Reading Adventure: Walk through Panama City one page at a time at StoryWalk Downtown

Film series: The Bay County Public Library hosts free family movie screenings each month.

“The best part of these exhibits is that you see art while visiting the library, so it’s beneficial to pick up the books and have the opportunity to view artwork,” said Sarah Burris, Library Marketing Coordinator. “We like to select artists who have similar themes to go with our summer theme.”

David C. Williams

In the Youth Services Gallery space, you can view the work of copper sculptural artist Williams. As a former NASCAR crew chief and stock car manufacturer, Williams got his start designing art for model race car companies in the Southeast. He used his metal fabrication skills in this profession for about 20 years.

After retirement, Williams noticed that his eight-foot blue heron artwork was catching the public eye just hanging on his door, and he decided to start a new journey with the art of copper, steel stainless steel and carvings.

He then began drawing his designs on the back of copper plates, where he used electric and manual shears to follow the designs of sea life.

To give depth to his pieces, he uses a ball roller, hammers it, tempers it with a blowtorch, and finishes his art with clear lacquer. He also uses aluminum so he can adjust the colors of each piece and adds surprising glass eyes to his sea creatures. Williams’ exhibit includes dolphins, fish and palm trees.

“It just started out as a hobby for me, and it’s been a nice hobby because I’m able to give back to the community that way, and it’s an honor for me to do that,” said said Williams, noting most of the benefits of his work. are donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “It’s something I’ve been doing for over 25 years and I intend to continue doing it for as long as I can.”

Denise Nyland illustrates a series of educational posters on marine life.  Her work will be displayed in the Bay County Public Library's Adult Services Gallery space throughout July.

Denise Nyland

Featured in the Adult Services gallery, Nyland illustrated a series of educational posters with facts and drawings about sea life.

Each poster includes field identification, what they eat, what eats them, and conservation facts. The exhibit includes seven exhibits: a hammerhead shark, a great white shark, a blacktip shark, a thresher shark, a tiger shark, a green turtle and a hawksbill turtle. Nyland uses a surprising medium to paint its creations: coffee.

Times to see the exhibitions

“At least every month we like to feature works by local artists in our two galleries,” Burris said. “At this time, we expect a different artist to be featured each month through November.”

The Bay County Public Library is located at 898 W. 11th St. and exhibits will be on display through July 30. Library hours are Monday through Wednesday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information on library programming and services, visit or call the library at 850-522-2100.

Julia P. Cluff