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Chapala Biblioteca to benefit from artist’s leap year birthday show

It’s not every day people get to celebrate a birthday, and not even every year if they happen to come into the world on February 29. Being a leap-year baby has motivated local artist Charlsie Kelly to throw a very special 18th birthday bash next week.

She extends an open invitation to her art show set for Thursday, February 29, 2 to 5 p.m., at Galería Sol Mexicano at Ajijic’s Plaza Bugambilias. She will offer snacks, beverages and live music for her guests, along with an 18-percent discount on all her paintings.

It is also the date she is launching a fundraiser for Chapala’s Biblioteca Paula Real López, with a month-long sale of chances on a raffle of an original watercolor. Tickets are priced at 50 pesos each. The drawing will be held on March 29.

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Four years ago, Kelly adopted the dreary public library facility on Calle Júarez to sponsor improvements aimed at making the place more appealing to local youth. She has recruited volunteers to paint colorful designs on the outside entryway, buff up inside rooms that house bookshelves and computer equipment, and collect donations for purchasing basic supplies such as toilet paper and drinking water.

Her endearment for libraries stems from memories of a troubled childhood. It was there she found mental stimulation and solace, including relief of disappointment from birthdays acknowledged only once every four years. Perhaps quiet hours spent between books likewise inspired a passion for art, distinguished by her detailed paintings of flowers, fruits and creatures of nature that seem to reflect an irrepressible cheery inner spirit.

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