Arts Notes: Dec. 16

Susan Schild’s first book is a small-town tale about finding true love.
Susan Schild’s first book is a small-town tale about finding true love.

Watercolors coming to college gallery

Students in Jim Brown’s watercolor class will display their works Jan. 5 through Feb. 14 in the Frank Creech Art Gallery at Johnston Community College, 245 College Road, Smithfield.

A reception for the artists is scheduled from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 5. The artists are Carolyn B. Allen, Shirley Booker, Maria Blythe, Jim Brown, Ramona Cash, Carolyn Faison, Lori Hamilton, Dorothy Harris, Faye Lampe, Janet Lampe, Tammy Langston, Heidi-Lee Peach, Diane Pearce, Ann Ragland, Francine Stephenson, Glenda E. Toler, Betty Jo Watkins, Edie Voorhees, Haywood Anthony Watkins, Betsy Williams, Kathy Lassiter, Don Stephenson, Joanne O. Dunn, Betty Ramos and Pat Tabler.

Gallery hours are 5 to 8 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays.

Library seeking young writers

The Public Library of Johnston County and Smithfield is seeking entries in its first short-story writing contest for middle school students.

Middle-Schoolers are invited to submit one short story of any genre and length to Emily Campbell at the Children’s Desk. Include your name, phone number and school. All stories and information must be typed.

Three winners will receive movie tickets to the Howell Theatre in downtown Smithfield.

Students wishing to enter must have their finished short story submitted by 8 p.m. Dec. 21

For more information, email Campbell at

Clayton library to host local author

A reception for Clayton author Susan Schild is scheduled from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 7, at Hocutt-Ellington Memorial Library, 100 S. Church St., Clayton.

That’s just a couple days after Schild will release her first novel, “Linny’s Sweet Dream List,” which one reviewer has called “charming, funny, feisty.”

The book is a small-town tale about charming men, missing money, stray puppies, girlfriends you can’t live without and finding true love when you think it’s too late.

This meet-the-author event will feature refreshments and drawings for door prizes.

“Linny’s Sweet Dream List” is available for preorder at

For more information, call Hocutt-Ellington Memorial Library at 919-553-5542.

Former SSS teacher pens coming-of-age novel

A former Smithfield-Selma High School teacher has penned a novel set in the fictional town of Little River in Johnston County.

In “Life on Little River,” the main character, Braxton Hickman, is assigned to write his autobiography as a senior English project. In the book, he reveals a shocking secret that he has kept since he was 13 years old.

The author is Raymon Viverette, who taught English in Smithfield for 16 years before moving to Baytown, Texas, in 1988. He describes his novel as irreverently funny, heart-warming and inspirational.

“This coming-of-age book is especially appealing to those who grew up in the 1960s in Eastern North Carolina harvesting tobacco, experiencing the Civil Rights movement, coming to terms with various other social issues and finding meaning in life and death,” the author said in a news release.

The book is available online at

Carols, readings at Smithfield church

A candlelight service of carols and readings is scheduled for 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 20, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 218 S. Second St., Smithfield. The evening will feature the St. Paul’s adult and youth choirs, brass and percussion, dramatic readings and a carol singalong. Admission is free. The church will collect an offering to offset production expenses.

New book explores 2008 financial crisis

A man with ties to Johnston County has penned a nonfiction book.

Carl M.W. Grenn is the author of “Crisis and Corruption,” subtitled “The government’s role in the 2008 economic and financial crisis and its corruption of the private financial capitalistic system.”

His wife is the former Mary Lee Johnson, who was valedictorian of the Clayton High School class of 1951. The couple, who have been married 61 years, make their home in Fredericksburg, Va. Mr. Grenn is retired from mortgage banking.

On a recent visit to Clayton, the couple donated a copy of the book to Hocutt-Ellington Memorial Library. The book is available also by calling the author at 540-371-1479 or emailing him at

Palladian Series

Here are remaining shows in the 2015-16 Palladian Series at The Clayton Center:

Feb. 13 – Franc D’Ambrosio, who played the Phantom in regional productions of “The Phantom of the Opera,” will sing Broadway tunes.

March 12 – country and blues artist Lee Roy Parnell.

April 30 – gospel artist Mike Farris, who won a Grammy this year for Best Roots Gospel Album.

All shows begin at 8 p.m. at The Clayton Center, 111 E. Second St., Clayton. For tickets, call the box office at 919-553-1737 or visit Box office hours are 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Broadway Voices

Here’s the lineup for the 2015-2016 Broadway Voices series at the Garner Performing Arts Center, 742 W. Garner Road, Garner.

Jan. 30 – Hugh Panaro, “Phantom of the Opera,” “Les Miserables” and “Side Show.”

April 30 – David Burnham, “Wicked,” “Light in the Piazza” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”

All shows start at 7:30 p.m. For tickets, visit or call 919-661-4602 between 1:30 and 5 p.m. weekdays.

Send arts notes to