By Glen Mason
New Journal and Guide
Give a child a book this holiday season.
Two that come to mind are “The Lonely Little Blue Book” and The Adventures of the Little Blue Book: Saving Pennies, Nichols and Dollars” by fine and performing artist Gerome Meminger, Sr.
While appearing with renowned jazz artists recently, Meminger raced from stage to signing booth to promote and autograph three books he published along with his paintings. The children’s books “The Lonely Little Blue Book” and The Adventures of the Little Blue Book: Saving Pennies, Nichols and Dollars” are the first two books of a trilogy of anecdotal lessons for children two to eight years old. In the book for readers over those ages he waxed poetically, painted and produced “Poetry Art & Truth: A Picture and a Story.”
It is interesting to note that his children books receive just as much attention as do the musically themed paintings produced by this impressionistic artist.
I’m a grandfather. I wanted my grand children to get more from a children’s book than the duck drives a truck. If they were going to read I want them to read about life lessons,” said Meminger, interviewed at Barnes and Noble, Hampton Towne Center where his children’s books are on sale.
He published and distributes the children’s books for his own publishing company ABG Publishing.
The books are for ages two to eight. Meminger, who has three adult children, says he is big on early childhood education.
Cleverly inked and illustrated by Toni M. Thorne, “The Lonely Little Book” tells the story about a little blue book character who lives in a library with only one story to tell. Passed over in the library and neglected by children, title character, turns to well read parents for advice to attract more readers. The second book follows him on a series of adventures in which he learns about life lessons, saving money and . . . well, let’s just say, that a career educator said both books were well written and well thought out.
“I was impressed with Mr. Meminger’s use of color and shapes to teach skills by reading a touching story,” said Inez Blount-Mason, a retired principal with a background in Early Childhood and Special Education. “He did a little research when he set out to tell these stories.
“He cleverly addressed the benefit of good social skills in the ‘Adventures of Little Blue Book’ book as well as showing the benefits of saving money,” said Blount-Mason.
Both books have a few blank pages.
Don’t worry it’s not a printing error. They serve a purpose.
“Most children have their own story they want to tell, draw or create after they’ve read a book, or heard a story. The extra pages are for them to do that. That way they won’t mark the book all up like some of us did when we were kids,” added the wise and observant grandfather.
Meminger was featured at the recent Jazz Legacy Gala held at the Hampton Roads Convention Center. His work captured the attention of an internationally known jazz line up as well as jazz supporters from across the nation. His next exhibit or performance is scheduled for the Sandler Center for the Arts in Virginia Beach. In the meantime he is taking a break from the brush to decompress and schedule his exhibition and performance schedules for the next year 2016.
Artists as well as jazz matrons jockeyed for positions in line to purchase the acrylic paintings that he masterfully produces on stage as they play.
He is literally, and figuratively, a performing artist. Get it, performance artist? Ok, I digress.
On a stage, inspired by the sounds of jazz, America’s original contribution to the arts, Meminger channels the music then paints, his brush as rhythmic as a conductor’s baton.
If you haven’t seen him create/perform/paint/work picture this.
Energy: kinetic yet fluid.
Medium: acrylic on canvas.
Palette: his mood. Cool.
Compassion: exhibits the love of the arts with the world
Performance Artist: literally. Figuratively.
All are indicative of Hampton artist and author Gerome Meminger, Sr.
The best way to see him perform is to catch him painting, preferably, at a jazz concert. That’s when he is empowered by his admitted muse, Jazz music, and unleashes his creativity in a swath of musically themed strokes, and maybe even a pirouette or two dancing with color and light as he blends his impressionistic style with the relevance of the jazz grooves he experiences.