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Whimsical wonderlands

Artist’s murals brighten children’s section in county library branches

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Thanks to a grant from the Williamson County Library Foundation, the walls in the children’s section of each of the six branches of the Williamson County Library system have been spruced up with unique murals created by Marin Brennan.

In early 2018, while putting books on shelves in the children’s section of the library, Brennan, who works in the circulation department at the main branch, learned that the Library Foundation was seeking proposals from artists interested in painting murals in the children’s storytelling rooms at each of the county’s six libraries.

Since Brennan’s degree from the Rhode Island School of Design is illustration and literary arts and studies, her interest was sparked.

 She quickly got to work on a proposal and submitted it in April 2018.

“They were excited when I asked if I could submit a proposal,” she said.

At the time, she was finishing set designs for a student play at Harding Academy and was looking for another after-work project.

“In the early stages, I was told it was important for the murals to represent Tennessee plants and wildlife,” Brennan said.

She consulted with each of the branch managers for ideas. The managers solicited ideas from people in the communities. The final result is a collection of murals representing the character of the community in which each branch is located.

“Each branch had their say about their mural,” Brennan said.

Some wanted animals in their natural state, others wanted animals to wear clothes.

“I took the ideas and went with it,” Brennan said.

“Our mural is absolutely beautiful,” said Alex Svenpladsen, circulation clerk in the Nolensville branch. “There are lots of sweet animals dressed up in outfits, elephants selling video games and drones and a cute little giraffe wearing a bow tie looking over the old school.”

The mural in Leiper’s Fork is similar yet unique.

“Our mural is a combination of playful animals on bicycles with the General Lee and (the Mayberry) police car and captures the fun, laid-back character of our town,” said Emily Anglin, the branch manager. “I love the animals on bikes. The boys love the cars.”

In College Grove, the smallest branch, the mural mixes nature and history.

“The mural is on several panels and has the quote, ‘Reading is dreaming with open eyes,’ animals and the old College Grove book mobile,” said Jennifer Hunsicker, who is the Nolensville branch manager and also filling in for Betty Kirkeminde, who recently retired from her post in College Grove.

“I loved painting each and every mural,” Brennan said.

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