NEWINGTON – An art class at Cedar Mountain Commons has not only sparked interest in famous artists but has also inspired some senior residents of Cedar Mountain Commons to show their creativity. Activities Director Debbie Labbe began the monthly program in September and since then 15 participants have learned about and painted artworks in the style of Andy Warhol, Georgia O’Keefe, Vincent van Gogh, Jackson Pollack, Georges Seurat and Charlie Harper.
“I’m not really artistically talented but I thought I would like to expose residents to things they hadn’t heard about and give them the opportunity to express themselves,” Labbe said. “You’d be surprised at what they have created.”
On March 26, more than 100 original artworks were included in the exhibit, “Masterpieces and Mimosas,” held at Cedar Mountain Commons, an independent and assisted living community located at 3 John H. Stewart Drive in Newington. Among them were paintings made in the style of Georges Seurat, the French neo-impressionist painter known for pointillism or the use of tiny dots of paint. Over the course of several sessions, residents used paint and a pencil eraser to create landscapes. To mimic Jackson Pollack’s abstract work, they dipped golf balls in paint and rolled them around a box. Art materials have also included foam board and bottle caps.
One woman, who was reluctant to paint because of her limited vision, was encouraged by a friend to try it. Even though she had to put her nose almost on the canvas to see it, she succeeded in crafting a dramatic collage depicting sunflowers, such as those painted by the Dutch post-impressionist Van Gogh. Her creation was among those displayed and admired by residents, friends and family.
Labbe said the exhibit also included the artists’ biographies she had compiled for the classes, photographs of the art sessions and a trivia contest. She is looking ahead to future projects to showcase the residents’ creativity.
“We all have a spark of inner beauty,” Labbe said. “The residents were thrilled to show what they can do.”
Cedar Mountain Commons is a not for profit independent and assisted living community owned by Hartford Hospital and Jefferson House, and is a member of Central Connecticut Senior Health Services. It is located at 3 John H. Stewart Drive in Newington.