By Kathy Collins

The art exhibit at the Bruton Memorial Library in downtown Plant City for the month of March features the artwork of Betty Jones. The exhibit is a collection of photos depicting Jones’ whimsical hats, hair ornaments and accessories on community leaders, and the J. Seward Johnson sculptures that can be seen throughout downtown Plant City.

Jones creates whimsical wearable art; hats and fascinators. To celebrate the history of Plant City and the return of the much loved sculptures, Jones recruited notables from the city to pose with the sculptures.

Jones said in her Artist’s Statement, “I am an artist with no formal training. I create wearable art, hats and fascinators, quite often with extraordinarily unique, often outrageous results. When I follow the dictates of whatever material I am using, it will fold, twist or turn until there is a moment when the sculpture and I are in agreement, creating something wonderful and unusual. It is inspiring.”

Chad Loving, administrative and services assistant with the Bruton Memorial Library, said, “This is certainly a fun exhibit. Her hand-crafted hats are a whimsical contrast to the traditional statues located around downtown Plant City. Including key figures of the Plant City community in her photos alongside these statues gives a sense of appreciation for the past as well as an excitement for the future of the city.”

In addition to the artwork of adult artists and area residents, the Bruton Memorial Library dedicates space for the work of aspiring young artists. Loving explained, “We have a new collection of work from Tomlin Middle School in our children’s art exhibit, including some Renaissance-style portraits and some imaginative, Picasso-esque animals. This may be our best work from Tomlin yet.”

The Bruton Memorial Library is located at 302 McLendon St. in historic downtown Plant City.