Thanks to the generosity of Denise Gutinsky, with ‘Have a Heart Thru Art’, and Madisonville artist Ron Webb, we now how our very own ‘Little Free Library’!
What is a ‘Little Free Library’? It’s a ‘take a book, return a book’ gathering place where neighbors share favorite literature and stories. In it’s most basic form, a little free library is a box full of books where anyone may stop by and pick up a book (or two) and bring back another book to share. Ours, however, is more than just a box. Ron Webb has depicted the museum and Tchefuncte River Light Station in front of a glorious sunset.
Ron Webb received his bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of South Alabama. He and his wife Sharon retired and moved to Madisonville after Katrina, and love the small-town friendliness and feel of the community. Ron enjoys drawing and working with watercolors, and has been volunteering for ‘Have a Heart thru Art’ both building and painting little libraries. He was excited to get the opportunity to make one for his hometown, and thought one depicting the Maritime Museum was a natural fit!
Have a Heart thru Art is an IRS-recognized 501c3 made up of all volunteers trying to make a difference in our community. They provide access to the arts via free programming to underprivileged and disabled children throughout the parish.
They have teamed up with local carpenters and artists, and are on a mission to promote literacy and an interest in reading by building and installing these “Little Free Libraries” in parks and neighborhoods where children gather around St. Tammany Parish. They are calling on local artists to creatively capture kids’ attention to lead them to a gift of life-long learning. In addition, they hope to get art students they serve through our summer camps involved in the project next summer as well! Have a Heart thru Art’s annual fundraiser is the Mystic Krewe of Mardi Paws dog parade held on the Mandeville Lakefront.