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Senior artists show fresh skills at Whitmore

May 17, 2018 03:03PM ● Published by Josh Wood

Local seniors admired each other’s work at the Whitmore gallery. (Joshua Wood/City Journals)

By Joshua Wood | joshw@mycityjournals.com

Some resulted from years of experience and experimentation. Others showed the youthful energy of a newly discovered passion. The variety on display at the Senior Art Show at Whitmore Library ranged from each subject depicted to the medium used to the artists themselves. 

As part of the library’s senior programs, Whitmore hosts an art show every other year for seniors to display the work they recently created. The 2018 show drew 38 entrants, enough to fill every wall in the Whitmore gallery and require an additional standup display to hold several more. Dramatic landscapes, subtle still-life paintings, portraits, abstract paintings and more brought the gallery walls to life and showed what the thriving senior community is capable of. 

“There’s quite a variety of work,” said librarian Daniel Berube. “Most of it has been created within the past five years.”

One of the artists displaying her work was Anne Rideout, who submitted a portrait she painted of her grandson. The face seemed to peek around the corner of the Whitmore gallery from among the surrounding landscapes. 

Light and life grace the walls of the Whitmore gallery, courtesy of local senior artists. (Joshua Wood/City Journals)

 “He put (his picture) on Facebook, and I asked if I could paint it,” Rideout said. “I’ve never done anything in black and white, but it was fun.” Rideout started painting through classes with a community school and still takes lessons about every week. 

Another artist at the show was Dennis Greenwood, who employed years of practice to create a stunning realistic oil painting of a mountain lake scene. A golden light infuses the painting as it bounces off the rock of distant mountains and is again reflected in the calm waters below. 

“I took up oil painting on my own because in high school, they didn’t teach oil painting,” said Greenwood, who has been painting for about 45 years. “It took years to learn how to do it. Now I paint at the senior center.” When he was younger, Greenwood said it took him a couple months to complete a painting since he could only paint for a few hours on weekends. He now paints around six hours a week.

The show wasn’t just for seasoned artists who have been at it for years. There were relatively new artists who showed that it is never too late to pick up a brush or pencil and start a new hobby. Loraine Lovell had been painting for just six weeks at the time of the art show.

“I’ve always thought about it, but never got around to it,” Lovell said. “My mother is in assisted living in Australia, and they have a little art class there. My mother was partly paralyzed but she was putting stuff on this sponge, so I helped her do a little flower, and I thought, ‘well this is fun, maybe I should do this.’” 

Whitmore Library has a committee that meets on a monthly basis to plan activities for community seniors. This is the third Senior Art Show, which has taken place every other year since 2014. The committee will meet again to determine the timing of future art shows.

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