Judy Mallory Draper’s birthday present July 1 was the best and brightest yet, she has decided. But this present took several hours to unwrap. And no wonder. It was in 30 pieces.

Its contents, carefully lifted from large boxes, carried framed treasures. Besides making up a  lovely collection, they ended an important search for several years with questions answered, and finally made her quest worthwhile.

The works of Anniston artists had been professionally cleaned, and to Judy, they gave the artists their due after almost 18 years. After they were admired, one by one, artist Ed Deyo directed their hanging in the Ayers Room of the Public Library of Anniston and Calhoun County  with the accompanying poster “City Hall Art Exhibit.” It will be up through September.

In August of 1999 Judy Draper was hired by the city of Anniston as event planner for the reception and ribbon cutting highlighting Anniston’s new executive offices in the City Hall building. After City Hall was totally renovated it was re-dedicated for that purpose on March 28, 2000.

To add to the celebration, Judy had an idea.

“I looked at the long hallway inside, leading to the city clerk’s and City Council’s rooms and decided the corridor was entirely without color,” she said.” I had been to exhibits in New York and Washington, D.C. and was emotionally moved with what artists can create. I was convinced that this would be the needed touch.”

Artists responded to being asked to donate their works, many of which depict Anniston landmarks. They were hung for the re-dedication and in April of 2000 Judy was appointed by the Anniston City Council as honorary curator for the art gallery.

However, when she returned recently to check on the art again, the pieces had disappeared.

Thus began the search for the paintings and drawings, which she hoped were still intact. On January 10, 2017 a resolution was passed by the Calhoun County Historical Society to provide a temporary display space for the collection and the library consented to the request for showing the collection. With the help of City Manager Kent Davis the pieces were located from storage and sent to the Ayers Room. Finally, now the works are in the spotlight again.

“After all, the collection was acquired for the public to see,” Judy said. “It’s exciting to see them refreshed and in their new life. I feel like the paintings have come home.”

Among the artists whose works you’ll see are the late David Boozer, John Will Davis, George Deyo and Marguerite Turner. Also, (now living artists) Rita Springer, Terry Harris, Gerald G. Woodruff Jr., Larry Martin and more.

Noonday music July 12

On Wednesday at First United Methodist Church music is given a voice through English handbells. The Wesley Bells concert for the public is from noon to 1 p.m. in the church sanctuary.

With gloved hands the bell ringers will use different techniques and show the work of a large team effort to play patriotic and Broadway music mixed with beloved hymns, according to Kathy Murphy, director. This is the second concert in the church’s “Noonday Notations” series. (Notation is defined as  a system for writing music).  Everyone is invited.                   

Vintage Bazaar July 22-29

Register your treasured items with David Ford at the Berman by July 18 for the  museum’s ninth annual consignment sale. Sellers receive 65 percent of the selling price. The Berman Museum retains 35 percent.  The event often leads to a new home for lithographs, small furniture, fine china, jewelry and antique toys, thanks to those of you who cherish old things. While historic objects are in the museum in abundance, you can not only admire these bazaar treasures; you can pick them up and try them on for size. Buy them, and you can take them home.

Sometimes the pieces have added meaning to buyers. A print in a past sale represented a sports scenario in Scotland in the 1850s that quickly caught the eye of Chip Howell. He bought the print which was titled “A Grand Match at St. Andrews Links” primarily because he had played on the internationally known course north of Edinburgh. “This was important to me,” Howell commented. “St. Andrews is the home of golf.”

The Vintage Bazaar will be held in the Berman Auditorium during regular museum hours. There is no charge to browse.

Hervey Folsom writes about the local arts scene every Sunday. Contact her at herveyfolsom@yahoo.com.