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New bronze sculptures dedicated at library

By APRILL BRANDON
April 7, 2010 at 6:04 p.m.
Updated April 6, 2010 at 11:07 p.m.

Madison Smith, 6 months old, holds on to a bronze book outside the Victoria Public Library on Wednesday. The bronze statues, made by San Antonio artist Marianne Caroselli, were donated to the library by the Friends of Victoria Public Library.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Marianne Caroselli is a longtime sculptor and painter from Fair Oaks Ranch, just north of San Antonio.

Her work ranges from small to life-size and includes subjects from children, wildlife, westerns and Native Americans, according to her Web site, www.mcaroselli.com.

Her two pieces created for the Victoria Public Library are titled "Happily Ever After" and "Once Upon A Time."

Before they were even dedicated, the two new bronze sculptures outside the Victoria Public Library were already proving their worth.

As a growing crowd waited outside the library Wednesday for the festivities to begin, young children began flocking to the sculptures to get a closer look.

"Children reading books is something we want to encourage at the library and we want these to be such an attraction to children," library board member Doris Dickson said. "We hope these help to make them want to come in to the library."

The life-sized sculptures, which are of a little girl and a little boy reading books, were created for the library by Texas artist Marianne Caroselli and funded by the Friends of the Victoria Public Library organization, library director Dayna Williams-Capone said.

On Wednesday, Williams-Capone, along with Mayor Will Armstrong, dedicated the art work in front of board members, library staff and community members.

"This is a wonderful occasion. This building is, I do truly believe, the most important building in our community. It is the manifestation of our First Amendment right, the right to freedom of speech, and there is nothing more important to us to make this community prosper than to have children in this library on a regular basis," Armstrong said.

The estimated cost of the donation from the Friends of the Library was around $10,000, Dickson said, adding that she discovered Caroselli's work at an art show in New Mexico last year.

"I thought they would be the perfect addition to the library and I brought some pictures of her work back to the board. Everyone loved the idea," she said.

The Friends of the Library is a volunteer organization that helps raise money for library materials, supports library staff, organizes the library book sales and helps with the children's summer reading program, among other things, Williams-Capone said.

"We are so thankful to the organization and these sculptures are so special for us because they remind us of the children we serve here at the library," she added. "They remind us of the joy of reading and I hope they bring joy and a smile to peoples' faces."

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