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Children’s Book Author to Launch New Work at Altama Museum Event

Ailey children’s book author Lynn Skinner will debut her latest work at the Altama Museum of Art & History in Vidalia on Saturday, March 19, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. The new book, Good Morning Miss Polly, is the third book in Skinner’s “Sharing Happiness” series, following Happy Birthday Dolly and Alex is Mr. Jolly.

“These three books present ways for individuals to be happy amidst special needs. Dolly, Alex and Polly are real people who manage individual circumstances yet maintain and share happiness,” Skinner said.

The new book is based loosely on Skinner’s first illustrator, Polly Rushton, and her amazing ideas for staying busy, helping others and contributing to life in thoughtful ways. Before her death, Rushton was a committed volunteer in the public school system’s special needs program. “This is a book about giving of one’s self and using creativity,” the Skinner explained.

Good Morning Miss

Polly is Skinner’s 12th book. She is most well known for the “Eugene the Mouse” series. One of her works, Bandit’s Garden, was nominated for a Caldecott Award and another book, How Does Your Garden Grow, won a first place in a National Garden Clubs of America competition.

Also at the Museum in March Also ongoing at the museum through March 27 is the Annual Student Art Show. The Student Art Show has been running annually since the early 1990s without interruption until the pandemic,” said Museum Director Jennifer Martinez. “This is our first year back in person after the pause.” The show features student work from Vidalia High, Toombs County High, Wheeler County High, Robert Toombs Christian Academy, Vidalia Heritage Academy, and the two private art programs run by Donna Belcher at Downtown Craft House and Gwen Davis at Art by Gwen.

“The entire downstairs and sometimes upstairs, too, are filled with bright, exuberant and creative student art work. This is the first year that Heritage will participate as the groups must have a formal art class and previously Heritage did not,” Martinez explained.

First, second, and third place prizes are awarded within each group and then a Best in Show in Upper Grades (9-12) and a Best in Show for Lower Grades (PreK-8). Judging is by the program facilitators and guest judges. Gallery hours are Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Wrapping up this threeweek- long event is Kids Art Day and Open House on March 27 from 1 to 4 p.m.

“Several different art experiences are offered on our porches and lawns each year for all ages. In previous years activities were planned by art educators. This year, we are trying something new. The activities will be designed and facilitated by high school students at RTCA, Vidalia High and T o o m b s County High. Everyone is really excited about this,” Martinez noted. “ T o gether, these two events are a touchstone for the younger generation of Vidalia. People who came as kids now have kids they bring to The Altama,” Martinez added.

The Altama Museum of Art & History is located at 611 Jackson Street in Vidalia. Call (912) 537-1911 for more information, or visit the website: altamamuseum. org.

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