For 21 years Diane Hammill has been a fixture at the Crawfordsville District Public Library, working in several different departments.
After her retirement from Athens Press in 1990 her love for books and art led her to the library. She started off as a volunteer in the reference department, but before long she began working part-time in the gallery at the library.
She made the move from the reference department to the gallery in 2002. As curator of the Mary Bishop Gallery, Hammill worked to grow the gallery into what it is today.
It wasn’t until after hanging the exhibits, “Butterfly Moments: Calligraphy by Erika Woods” and world crèches from Nancy Hardy that she decided to retire.
With her last show on the walls she plans to retire at the end of the month.
“It has been an exciting and challenging adventure for the past 21 years, and now, as all good things do, it must come to an end,” she said. “I have loved every minute of it.”
Retirement will allow her to spend more time traveling and relaxing. Her first trip as a retiree will take her to Hawaii for Christmas and New Year’s.
The Mary Bishop Gallery began in 1977. What started as a small gallery in the upstairs of the former library has turned into a monthly exhibit featuring two distinct artists from Montgomery County and around Indiana.
Hammill has made the gallery a popular place for artists to display their work. The gallery is booked until January 2014.
The current gallery is three times the size of the old gallery.
“I will miss it terribly,” she said. “All of the displays are unique and unusual in their own way. I have my personal favorites, but what I really love is meeting the artists and getting to know them. I love the personal and antidotal part of the job.”
Hammill said nothing will change at the gallery except for the people in charge of hanging each exhibit. All monthly commitments will be honored. Taking over for Hammill will be Kat Burkhart and Lissa Fairfield from the Carnegie Museum and Vera Case from the CDPL.
The next exhibit will begin Jan. 3 and features the work of Crawfordsville School students.
“I get to know look at the work and enjoy every minute of it,” she said.