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Local artists add familiar flavor to Taneytown exhibit

Growing up in Carroll County, Libby Cain always wanted to be an artist.

She eventually became a school teacher, but after a long educational career ended, she pursued her childhood passion. And during the next five weeks, the fruits of her labor will be on display in her hometown of Taneytown.

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Cain is one of four artists whose work will be featured at an upcoming Taneytown History Museum exhibit, which opens Saturday. Sept. 10 and runs through Oct. 15.

The actual museum site, at 24 E. Baltimore St,, is closed because of Taneytown's ongoing streetscape project, so the artists' work will be shown at the Taneytown branch of New Windsor State Bank, 222 E. Baltimore St., Taneytown.

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The opening of "Artists on Display" is Saturday, Sept. 10, and the general public can view the artwork Mondays through Thursdays, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Fridays, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; and Saturdays, 9 a.m.-noon, through the Oct. 15 close. For more details, go to http://www.taneytownmuseum.org.

The bank branch will host a Meet the Artists and wine and cheese reception Sept. 25 from 1 to 4 p.m. The reception is free for children 12 years and younger and $10 for those older than 12.

"At first, the museum decided to take only older artifacts," said Doug Heck, chairman of the Taneytown History Museum. "But we realized that we needed to give people a reason to come back and visit. We'll do something historic, then rotate to art, then back to historic."

Cain is one of four artists whose work is available for viewing.

Ernie Muehlmatt, a three-time winner of the Ward World Championship Wildfowl Carving competition, is a member of the Carvers' Hall of Fame.

Michael Smith, of New Windsor, an internationally-known nature photographer, and Baltimore-born artisan Kathy Boyle will also be a part of the exhibit. Boyle is known for her carvings, handcrafted silver jewelry and ornaments.

"For Taneytown to get both Ernie and Kathy is really something," Heck said. "Michael Smith had a display here four years ago, and Libby Cain is a good local artist. And New Windsor State Bank was kind enough to let us do the show there."

The event will have special meaning for Cain, a Taneytown native who moved to Westminster when she was 13 years old. She graduated from the University of Maryland in 1962 and embarked on a teaching career that took her to Washington, Arizona, Calvert County and Belgium. She spent most of her 31-year career in the Prince George's County Public Schools system.

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When Cain retired from teaching, she returned to Carroll, and took advantage of her increased free time to begin a new career as a painter.

"My sister asked me to join her in an art class at the Taneytown Senior Center about 12 years ago," Cain said. "Prior to that, I had not published any work."

Cain, who uses water colors and acrylics in her work, has studied with fellow artist Rebecca Pearl, of Emmitsburg.

"A friend of mine, Nancy Keefer, said that my work was pretty good," Cain said. "She suggested that I put it up for the (Taneytown) show."

Cain's paintings seem to pay tribute to the Carroll County lifestyle. Two of her main themes are country landscapes and wild animals, but Cain said she didn't intend for her art to represent her birthplace.

"I take art lessons and I just painted different subjects," she explained. "My work is done largely from photographs. If people get pleasure out of my paintings, that's great."


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