Art, in its many forms, has always commanded my attention.
Each time I see a painting, a sculpture or a handmade craft, I quietly applaud the artist for taking the time to create it.
To ponder a finished piece is glorious, but it's a real treat for me to see an artist at work.
Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Westminster artist Carolyn Seabolt will be at the Hanover Art Gallery in Hanover, Pa., creating her artwork in an environment that welcomes spectators.
The public will be invited to attend as Ms. Seabolt and 15 other artists participate in the biannual Demonstration Days.
"There will be all types of artists from the Hanover Area Art Guild there," Ms. Seabolt said. "We will have a china painter, watercolor artists, a print maker, basket weaving, weavers and wood being turned on a lathe."
Ms. Seabolt, who has been an artist for 25 years, will demonstrate batik, silk painting and English tinsel painting.
"Batik is an old Indonesian technique," she said. "It is done with hot wax and dye. The hot wax is put on a piece of cloth and the dye is added and moved from light to dark.
"English tinsel painting is like a reverse painting on glass. I use an oil stain and opaque paint to make the picture and then place foil over the back of the picture," she said.
Silk painting is exactly what one would expect: painting on silk.
For the past several years, Ms. Seabolt has been participating in Demonstration Days and sees it as an opportunity for artists and art lovers to communicate in an informal setting.
"I love to talk to the people. It's a good educational experience," she said. "You get to have the one-on-one, and I like that."
Demonstration Days will be in the Hanover Art Gallery, 32 Carlisle St. in Hanover.
It's carnival time at the Reese fire grounds on Route 140 in Finksburg.
This is one of the biggest carnivals in Carroll County and it will beckon all to come out this evening and every evening this week from 7 p.m. until 11:30 p.m.
In addition to the evening carnivals, a children's matinee is slated for Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The carnival will have 21 rides, including 10 specifically designated for children. Live musical entertainment will highlight the festivities each evening, as well as carnival food, games, bingo and ticket sales for the Big Money Raffle.
Featured entertainment will include "Bootleg," this evening; "Big Cam and the Lifters" tomorrow evening, "Branded" Wednesday evening; "The Roadsters" Thursday evening; "The Highway Dixie Band" Friday evening; and "Pure Country" Saturday evening.
Three Power Rangers will visit from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. during the children's matinee. A bike giveaway for kids will also take place during the matinee carnival Saturday.
Last week, included in this column were some ideas on volunteer opportunities with agencies and organizations in Carroll County.
This week's column will focus on volunteer activities generated by the Carroll County Public Library and the Carroll County Department of Citizen Services.
While many departments of the county library system are well-staffed, there are some programs where volunteers can be a big help.
One such program is the Library Link, which is a service that provides books to nursing homes and assisted-living and adult day care centers.
Both young and old can volunteer their time to help with this program.
Some of the duties associated with Library Link include delivering books, visiting nursing home residents, interviewing residents about their reading interests and taking requests for reading material.
Loretta Murphy, who oversees the Library Link program, said, "Volunteers should be able to drive, but student-age volunteers could ride along and assist with book deliveries to the nursing homes."
There are many opportunities for volunteers at the County's Department of Citizen Services.
Positions range from day care "friend," to performing general clerical duties, to running errands.
But, probably the greatest need is for volunteers in the Pets On Wheels program.
Peggy Henderson, volunteer services coordinator for Citizen Services, said, "We do have a need for owners of cats to bring their animals to the nursing homes for our Pets On Wheels program. We have a lot of requests from the residents to see cats."
Mrs. Henderson said there are also openings for volunteers to help with activities and one-on-one visits at the facility in South Carroll for frail adults.
"There are always opportunities for adults to volunteer," Mrs. Henderson said. "And for students looking to volunteer, the nursing homes like to have them come in and visit with residents or help with activities such as reading to the residents and writing letters."