The moment an art committee formed at Wesley Palms in 2018, resident Pauline Chang felt the natural desire to participate. Pauline enjoys working with her hands and has spent the last 10 years crafting pine needle baskets. This was an opportunity to give back to the community by bringing fellow residents together for visual enjoyment and pleasure as artists, crafters, and art lovers.
Now as resident Art Gallery curator, Pauline brought resident Tink Rambo’s idea to form a gallery highlighting arts and crafts created under quarantine to life. The community’s newest art exhibit, “Creating Through Challenge,” opened in late November at the retirement community’s art gallery. “This exhibit is an example of our resilience to move forward in creative ways during difficult times,” Pauline said. “My purpose is to uplift our spirits by focusing on community and creativity.”
“Creating Through Challenge” features residents’ artistic and unique expression in paintings, ink drawings, knitting, quilting, and much more. New pieces are added to the evolving exhibit as residents create and submit more art. “What better time to have a display of creativity than an exhibit that can be enjoyed safely without social interaction,” Tink said.
Resident Eileen Mitchell loves to paint and created 46 paintings in 2020. So far, three of her paintings are featured in the exhibit and she plans to submit more soon. “It was an enriching and educational year for me,” Eileen said. “I find wonderful freedom of movement and a release of all tensions when I paint.”
One of her pieces featured in the exhibit is “Summer Mountains,” inspired by her memories of hiking in the Rockies with the rising mists, majestic peaks, and smell of pines. Another painting, “Eddie’s Blue Sails at Sunset,” showcases her favorite times of day in Southern California – sunset and twilight. Eileen is inspired by what she sees around Wesley Palms especially when it relates to a fond memory.
Pauline and the art committee aim to encourage creative participation among residents by providing group painting opportunities and a working space for residents to paint weekly. During the pandemic, residents can join a weekly watercolor class with an art instructor via Zoom. “We want to cultivate and celebrate art knowing it is visually interesting, stimulating, and will make us feel good,” Pauline added. “Art nourishes the spirit and soul.”