September 14, 2019
I love our new central library on Fifth St. and go there about every other week to get what I need to survive the other weeks, especially the CDs I depend on at bedtime to get the debris of the day out of my mind. Today at the library was extra rewarding because there were about a dozen or more portraits of famous writers in the display area on the second floor and I couldn’t wait to share it with you because they made my day. They were painted by Rob Meyers, whose work is certainly good enough to justify abandoning his day job. His resume is posted, so I’ll leave it up to you to learn more about him.
As I toured the exhibit, I deliberately stayed about five feet away to see if I could identify the authors he had painted. I recognized most of them immediately; they were that evocative. The only one I had to depend upon the plaque beside it was John Dos Passos. I don’t think I have ever seen a photo of him, so it was a treat as well as an excuse. If you are bookworm like I am, then you owe it to yourself to go see the exhibit and if you’ve never been to the central library, take a tour because it is a treasure. It was commissioned, more or less, at the tail end of the Great Recession, and as our daughter Alyson, a Manhattan architect, he said proudly, who has designed a library or two herself, once said on a visit here, “Only a city that has a faith in the future plans to build a library in a time of economic hardship.”
Rob Meyers isn’t the only Myers (spelled correctly here) who is a fine artist. We own one of Wendell Myers’ fantastic and fantastical landscapes. It was the first work of a Winston-Salem artist we purchased and it still has the same power to move us as when we first saw it six years ago. I am reminded of the editorial license taken by one of Winston-Salem’s most gifted artists of another discipline, Jamie Allbritten, with the slogan of Winston-Salem: “Winston-Salem, the city of Artists and Innovation.”
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