Hanceville Public Library hosts monthly homeschool Art Club

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Elizabeth Simmons, 19 months, explores books from the shelves at Hanceville Public Library. (Cheyenne Sharp)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. – “It looks like an onion with legs!” “It’s a Walmart bag, bro!” Exclamations and chatter fill the usual stillness of the Hanceville Public Library. It is Oct. 11, the second Wednesday of the month, and that means it’s time for Art Club with the Hanceville/Center Hill Homeschool Group. Moms gather at a central table, smiling sweetly, sharing stories of motherhood, all the while keeping eyes on exploring little ones as their older children seek out friends and wait for Art Club to begin.

Group Leader Angeline Riggs explained how the Homeschool Art Club came to fruition, saying,

“We started meeting every Wednesday because the library had already had a storytime that Ms. Shirley had going on.”

Riggs said growing children means growing interests, and the needs of the group changed.

 “So we started coming for storytime and then our kids started growing up. So we started doing stuff for our bigger kids here. So the art club that we do is once a month on the second Wednesday of every month.”

She said ages in the homeschool group range from preschoolers to teens on their way into high school, meaning Art Club has to be tailored to each group.

Preschoolers happily corral into a playroom off to the side of the Library to paint with paper plates and primary colors. Parents gather in the room to assist their children. Riggs actively tries to keep all ages active and engaged in Art Club. “We try to do a small paint activity on Art Day for the little ones, too,” she said. “It helps them feel involved.”

Older children gather in a back room equipped with a whiteboard, an office table and several mismatched office chairs. One by one the chairs fill up, and the room erupts with giggles, greetings and conversation between old friends as artists trickle in and join the group. Students take turns choosing the project and instructing each monthly Art Club meeting. This month, it was 15-year-old Abby Wisener who led the class. For October’s design, Wisener chose an array of pumpkins, telling the others, “Today I’m doing different size pumpkins in different shapes.” Artists jump into action, recreating their versions of Wiseman’s design, smashing their pumpkins out of the park.

The Hanceville/Center Hill Homeschool Group meets every Wednesday, at the Hanceville Public Library with Art Club the second Wednesday of each month. The Hanceville Public Library will also host a used book sale on Oct. 21 beginning at 8 a.m.; all proceeds will help the library continue to support homeschooling groups and local children. The Hanceville Public Library is located at 201 Commercial St. and can be reached at 256-352-0685.