Welcome to AWE Online Exhibits

Through in-person and online classes, AWE is able to reach out to seniors to engage their creativity, as well as providing a forum for community building. Classwork is selected for online and on-location exhibits, building a bridge to audiences of all ages.

Weekly classes include a lesson presentation, classwork review, and work time. Classwork is then selected and shared for display in exhibitions online and on location.

Please also check out our previous Annual Exhibits which are viewable on the Annual Exhibits page of this website.

Courageous Creativity
AWE Celebrates Black History
February 23, 2022 – December 31, 2022

Art With Elders Celebrates Black History with this special exhibit honoring African American Artists. The exhibit spotlights the creativity of African American artists within the AWE program. Laguna Honda Hospital artists are featured along with participants from several other San Francisco Bay Area communities.

Work from the exhibit by Laguna Honda residents is also on display on the first floor at Laguna Honda Hospital, but public access to Laguna Honda remains restricted due to precautions related to COVID-19.



Walter Jordan III
“Mother”
Laguna Honda Hospital

“This old body ain’t down yet,” Walter declares. Diagnosed with hydrocephalus in his youth, after fifteen surgeries and many health challenges he asserts that he is “on a journey to keep going no matter what. I’m not giving up now.” Born in Many, Louisiana, Walter came to the Bay Area as a young child, attended both City College and San Francisco State University and received a business degree. He credits his mother, an important inspiration and voice in his life, with instilling in him a strong sense of determination. Walter was employed by the Hydrocephalus Foundation for ten years, worked as a teacher’s aide in sign language and ran a catering service at San Francisco City College. He’s particularly pleased with his Cajun catfish jambalaya and German chocolate cake. Walter plays piano, speaks conversational Tagalog, Cantonese and Mandarin, and loves to sing.He is “flattered and flabbergasted” by the attention he receives for his artwork. Walter enjoys the AWE classes and believes they have a positive impact on his goal of getting well.

Geraldine “MamaG” McGowan
“Self Portrait”
Laguna Honda Hospital

“Mama G,” as Geraldine is known around Laguna Honda Hospital, greets everyone with a wide smile and they all smile back. Born in Texas in 1942, she admits being spoiled by her brother and sister as the baby. Her father owned a large farm and she grew up feeding the fifty goats and caring for the vegetable garden and fruit trees. The family also raised chickens and hogs, sharing the “mess of meat” with their neighbors after butchering the hogs.

Mama G graduated from high school in 1959 and stayed on the farm plowing, hoeing, cutting trees and working on cars. In 1962, she came to California to visit her mother and ended up staying, supporting herself by babysitting and later cleaning the Officer’s Quarters in The Presidio. In later years, she studied at City College and became a library technician. During her eight years working at the San Francisco Main Library, Mama G loved meeting and helping out the patrons. She has a daughter and son, ten grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

She paints, sculpts and creates ceramics and has begun painting a series of Mexican masks.

Carl Stokes
“Monet’s Garden”
Laguna Honda Hospital

Carl has always identified himself as an artist.  “I’m an artist!” he would say when meeting new people.  He is interested in all expressions of creativity and his taste in the visual arts has always been eclectic. In the last 20 years, however, he has focused primarily on painting.  

Carl suffered a stroke in March, 2019 and moved to Laguna Honda in June of that year. Although he can no longer speak, he is able to communicate his wishes and thoughts using an I-Pad “talk” program.  His friends and care givers know how important painting is to him. He is very excited to participate in the AWE program at Laguna Honda.

Orin Solace
“To Kill the Truth”
Laguna Honda Hospital

“I know when the picture is wrong, and at the same time, I know when it’s right,” says this high-energy, intellectual abstract thinker with a great sense of humor. Describing his artistic process, Orin says, “Once it’s done, I do it again. The fifth time, it’s right.” 

He remembers fondly summer vacations at his grandmother’s house in Ojai.  He majored in aviation studies at San Jose State, where he was an avid rugby player, but never achieved his dream of becoming a pilot. He also once worked as a counselor in a group home.

Orin loves to dance, especially in raves, and even still does some mean John Travolta dance moves from Grease in his wheelchair. He enjoys reading, citing Orwell’s Animal Farm as one of his favorite books.

Orin, whose favorite artist is Salvador Dali, especially likes the fact that there is no pressure in his AWE classes. He’s come to learn from his art teacher the importance of focus. His room is covered from wall to wall with his word and picture art, but he admits that a “picture is worth a thousand words.” 

Shirley Middleton
“The First Couple”
Laguna Honda Hospital
 
Ricky Allen
“Nutz”
Laguna Honda Hospital

“Art inspires me…like a passion.” Rickie has been doing art on and off for over ten years. “Art would be my first love,” he says. He watches art programs on TV and does art in his room. “It’s a coping mechanism and I always want to improve.” He is currently taking the CCSF painting and ceramic classes offered weekly at Laguna Honda. He likes to depict animals in both his paintings and his ceramics.  He also wants to do landscapes and abstract pastels.

Rickie is one of thirteen brothers and sisters, only 4 of whom survived to adulthood. He has a long work history that includes working in hospitals, and doing janitorial, landscape, painter and plumbing jobs. He also liked to work with kids.

He is still very active. In addition to his art, he works in the Laguna Honda gift shop and general store as part of his vocational rehab program. He has also participated in the gardening program and the Resident Council.

Cassandra Watts
“Untitled”
Laguna Honda Hospital
A native San Franciscan, Cassandra lived in various neighborhoods when growing up and says one consistent element of her childhood was that the names of presidents followed her throughout her schooling. She attended Andrew Jackson and Jefferson Elementary Schools, Roosevelt Middle School, and Washington and Lincoln High Schools.After completing her education, Cassandra worked for a variety of organizations and companies including the San Francisco Unified School District, Bank of America, and Pleasant Hawaiian Holidays–a job she particularly enjoyed. It allowed her to travel extensively in Hawaii, where she explored the islands and spent time on the beach with friends. Family, friends, and creating art have always been central to her life. Her ideas for art just come to her, Cassandra says. They enter her thoughts and take over. She uses a variety of mediums, including drawing, charcoal and painting. She also enjoys working with colors and has a special interest in faces, which inspired her several years back to complete a portrait of Reverend Jesse Jackson. Cassandra credits art with helping to improve her mood and says that sitting at her easel always makes her feel better.

Mary Fleming
“London Breed,” “Barak Obama,” “Dancer”
Dr. George B. Davis Senior Center

I have been taking the AWE class since 2019 with Virginia Jourdan. We would meet on Mondays at the Davis Senior Center, but now I’m taking virtual classes since Covid19 began.
I look forward to taking the class. I enjoy learning about mixing colors, drawing animals, 1 and 2 perspective. Perspective drawing is my favorite even though it’s complicated. My favorite medium is watercolors. My favorite class project was painting the waves in the ocean.
A couple of things I would say about me is that I believe in the trinity and will continue loving others.

Shirley Swift
” Blue Jay and Berries”
Dr. George B. Davis Senior Center

I have been taking the AWE class for since 2019 with Virginia Jourdan. I moved to Illinois to be closer to my family, so I participate in the virtual classes and enjoy seeing old friends and painting. In this class, I have learned about a lot of things, can’t remember all, but I’m drawing some different things then I usually draw. I learned to draw a cat, buildings and still life objects.

My favorite medium is watercolor. It is so much fun. Some other things I enjoy are music, theater, musicals and love drawing people.

Classie Kendrick
“Birch Tree”
Dr. George B. Davis Senior Center
I have been taking the AWE class since they started the virtual lessons in September 2020.

Some things I enjoy about the class is that it is relaxing. I am also learning something I never knew I could do. In this class, I have learned how to draw, paint with watercolors and mix different colors. I discovered that if I don’t have the color, I can make my own color by mixing colors together. My favorite medium is pencils and water colors. My favorite project was the rose I drew. I would like people to know that I am proud that I have the energy and health to keep doing what I’m doing. At my age I’m on my feet doing something all the time, I am steady moving.

Irene “IrishH” Higgins
“Our Voices,” “The Swing,” “The Artist’s Mind”
On Lok Gee Center

All her friends call her IrishH and she’s led an interesting life. A multi-talented performer, she led a blues band (Spoonful of Blues) in San Francisco, composing some of the songs, playing bass and singing lead. She has worked with a small local theater group (Ninjaz of Drama) behind the scenes and in performance. With a Mission district crew (A Waking Dream), she constructed fantastical costuming and participated in the local Carnival and Pride parades, as well as Unity celebrations.

 Always a bit of a nerd growing up, IrishH studied Spanish in high school, adding German studies and some French courses in college, and later Russian. IrishH used her academic skills to empower learners in Academic Support programs at City College of San Francisco and After School Programs at Visitacion Valley Middle School.

IrishH has been trying to deal with injury issues which have dogged her for years. Though she’s had to undergo surgery in 2015 and 2017 with another coming up probably next year, she is working on healing what she can through Physical therapy, Aquatic Physical Therapy and Pilates.

She came to On Lok through a CCSF Older Adult Program art class and continues along the creative path here experimenting with water colors, acrylics and gouache paints as well as at the San Francisco Senior Center working with oil paints and ceramics.

S. Renee Jones
“Soul Traveler”
SF Senior Center

Renee was raised by a single-parent father in the Mission District of San Francisco. She had nine sisters and brothers. Her father also helped raise other children as well. She says at one point there were 18 children living under one roof.  Her father was named “Father of the Year” three times by the SF Examiner. He taught her to be the person she is today: responsible, caring and hard working.

There was always art in her house growing up. One day her father brought home a large white rug from a home he was helping to tear down. He spread the rug out on the sidewalk and gave all the kids colored markers and allowed them to draw whatever they wanted on the rug. That made the kids feel special!

He also brought home old cameras, which started Renee’s interest in photography. Today she runs an art gallery (6th on 7th Gallery), and teaches photo workshops for “adults living in poverty” and military veterans.

“There are not enough positive images of people of color,” she says, “And my goal is to put those images out in every medium.”

Willie Shipman
“Declaration of Independence”
Aspen Healthcare Pacific Heights

Growing up in Montgomery, Alabama, Willie Shipman was athletic and loved playing sports – as a center fielder in baseball, a guard in basketball, and football too.  In high school he started doing art, including drawing and painting. Willie likes using brushes, and prefers realistic art.

These days, he is a regular in the Art With Elders weekly class, where he experiments with making collages on cloth.  He carefully arranges and glues small rectangular and square pieces of felt into a colorful pattern.  He prefers darker colors, especially blue and green.  “Making art keeps me calm,” he shares.

Born May 27, 1944, as a young man Willie served in the U.S. Air Force in Oakland and San Francisco.  Remembering how he liked the northern California climate, he moved to the Bay Area in 1962, living in Oakland for a while and then on Jones Street in SF.  He worked as a longshoreman on the docks, and also did masonry work laying brick and concrete.

Easygoing and thoughtful, Willie enjoys reading the newspaper and nonfiction books about history.  He plays cards and Bingo, and always shows up for events with live music.  He is a music lover who used to sing at church, in school, and in the service.  “I like all kinds of music, like jazz.  Gospel’s all right.  But not rock.”

Leleticia Mapp
“Heart”
Excel Healthcare

Born in 1965 and raised in Oakland, CA., Leleticia’s life has been a challenging one, she went to several different elementary and middle schools and later worked on the street selling her body to make a living. Leleticia began having trouble with her vision at the age of 23, when she consulted her doctor they discovered a tumor on her optical nerve. Shortly after, she had a stroke and was in a wheel chair.

When she discovered Christianity, she turned her life around. She went to Laney and Merritt College, where she took a braille class, got a job at Royal Airways as a receptionist and has three beautiful children and a grandchild. “I love to color, but I love going to church more than anything.”

When in class, she has the instructor tape down her paper so that she can keep track of where she is working. Her preferred medium is crayons, she feels the texture of the paper and where she has already colored. Leleticia says, “I love bright colors, they give me a relaxed feeling.” She asks her instructor which colors are which of the crayons and sets them aside to use individually. “I have to ask which color is which because one time I put pepper in my coffee instead of sugar, so I want to be sure of what I choose.”

Evelyn Washington
“To the Smokehouse”
Central Gardens

Evelyn Washington was born on a Louisiana farm in 1928. Her father was the son of a slave. “That’s where the name ‘Washington’ comes from,” she says. “My father’s father was brought over on a boat with no clothes.” As a child, she played in the fields and made her own toys. Recalling a pet pig who protected her from snakes, she laughs heartily. “You have to have strange pets when you live in the country!” She attended school until third grade, leaving to do housework at $4.50 a day.

Evelyn’s 21 year old brother was seriously wounded in combat in World War II. As he was being evacuated from the war zone aboard the USS Drexler, the destroyer was attacked by kamikazes on May 28, 1945, and he perished. She actually made a picture of it in art class. “I’ve never seen the ship in my life, I just thought about it and that’s how I painted it,” she explains.

After a stroke, Evelyn moved to San Francisco to be with her two children and four grandchildren. She is extremely proud of how much they all have achieved. Evelyn’s advice for a productive life: “Do whatever you can now. If you want to do it, do it, because if you never try, you’ll never learn.”

Velma Clay
“Brother in the Service”
Excel Healthcare

Velma was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas in 1926 into a family of seven girls and four boys. She had a very special relationship with her twin sister. Her happiest childhood memories centered around the holidays, when everyone in the family gathered together.

After graduating from high school, Velma attended cooking school. It was there that she found her passion and her career. When she moved to California in 1947, she found a job cooking in the cafeteria of Capwell, Sullivan and Furth, the well-known San Francisco department store. There, her specialty became peach cobbler. She also enjoyed singing as a soprano in the choir of the Second Union Missionary Baptist Church.

Velma was married to her second husband, Matthew, for fifty years and is the proud mother of two children. Though her baking days are over, she’s discovered weekly bingo games at Excell, where she plays three cards at a time! Looking back at her life she says, “I tried, even if I didn’t always succeed.”

Percy Osibin
“Getting Cuts
That Don’t Hurt”

Excel Healthcare

Percy’s life has not been an easy one. Born in Fresno in 1945, when he was four his family moved to Oakland, where he, his brother and sister were placed in foster care for eight years–a time in his life with only bitter memories. At fifteen he was expelled from high school, became a heroin addict, and ended up in prison for bank robbery. 

It was there, in prison, that his life finally changed for the better. After earning a high school diploma and a BA in Psychology/Sociology, he began writing plays. “Black Montage,” his piece about people striving to rid their community of drugs, was performed in prison.

Upon his release, Percy received a grant to bring “Black Montage,” with the Black Light Project, to the community in the late 1970s. He later became a community organizer, working on the campaign to protect the Oakland community from lead-based paint.

He is proud of his son and daughter and of his art, which lines the walls of his room. It’s in his art, he says, that he finds spirituality. At last, he says, “I’ve learned to find the balance, work for a peaceful outcome, and look for justice and truth.”  

Cynthia Knight
“Red and Black Party”
Excel Healthcare

This native of Oakland, born in 1962, has had her share of tragedies in life. Her 25-year old son was a homicide victim, and she suffered a lengthy life-threatening coma in mid-life that doctors thought she would never survive. Yet it was her illness, she says, that taught her everything—patience and understanding, how to re-group myself.

“When Cynthia awoke from her coma, her hearing and vision were seriously impaired and doctors told her she’d never walk. She had to relearn how to how to use her contracted hands to write her name. She uses a special bridge for holding her paint brushes and pencils for art class.

Cynthia’s only previous experience with art was when she would draw pictures for the young children to paint in the day care center she ran out of her house. Now when she does art, she says she picks a subject that’s meaningful to her because she wants it to catch attention. She enjoys playing bingo and being outdoors, which isn’t very often.

“While I’m out waiting for Paratransit to go to the bank,” she says, “I enjoy the day—the people, the sights.”

Doris Backey
“Hand”
Lytton Gardens

Doris and her twin brother were born in 1932 in Georgia. She was the oldest by twenty minutes, and their mother, a housekeeper, later had another daughter. Her father was a sharecropper on a southern plantation.  When she was small, he had to flee the plantation due to an altercation with the owner. The family later joined him in Florida. 

Doris met and married her husband Romar when she was sixteen. He joined the Navy and was stationed in the Bay Area, where he later worked as a baker and she held a job as a food server in a Veterans Administration Hospital. 

The couple adopted and raised one of her sister’s sons, Reginald, and were married for 37 years until Romar’s death. She also worked in job placement at the California Employment Development Department until she retired.

Doris is an accomplished gospel singer and has been known to belt out “How Great Thou Art” on a bus to quiet down a group of young people. Her friend of twenty years, Judy, describes her as a loving and giving person, who is very spiritual. 

Ceola Beasley
“Traveling”
Aspen Healthcare
19th Avenue

Ceola’s colorful abstract painting, “Traveling,” refers to the way the watercolor paint traveled down the paper when she lifted it up and moved it around.

A native of Louisiana, she moved to San Francisco in 1944.  She raised “eight or nine kids” and has “quite a heap” of grandkids.  She is in her early 90s.

Her family visits her almost every day, and at Tuesday’s art class she gets them to help her paint.  Instructor Virginia Jourdan observes, “If you give her a brush and paint, she gets really relaxed and into the painting, meditating on the colors.”

In addition to making art, she plays Bingo, goes on lunch outings to Applebee’s (she loves pancakes), and attends Bible study.  She enjoys music and used to sing at church, when she “was stronger.”

Ceola likes to wear beautiful bracelets, rings, and earrings, which sparkle like her smile.

Corean Johnson
“Water Reflection”
Redwood Healthcare

Corean was born in Louisiana and grew up in Texas. She’s the youngest in a large family with four brothers and six sisters. At the age of 40 she boarded a bus with her sister and moved to Oakland, CA. where she’s made her home ever since. She and her sister bought a house on 64th Avenue where she raised her four children. She studied Dietetics at California State University and worked at UC Hospital.

Corean recently started painting and paints whatever inspires her at the moment. When she first starts a new piece she says, “I always think, what am I doing? But then, I usually feel good about what I’ve painted.”  

Troy Robinson
“Paris is Burning”
Redwood Healthcare

Troy was born in San Francisco and later moved to Oakland. After graduating from St. Mary’s High School in Oakland he attended San Francisco State University where he says jokingly, “I majored in partying.” Troy worked for many years and his last job was at Data Broadcasting Corporation in San Mateo.

An avid sports fan, Troy enjoys watching Warriors and Oakland A’s games. Troy also enjoys traveling and particularly enjoyed a trip to Colombia he took with a girl-friend in his younger years.

Troy describes himself as a carefree, easygoing, free spirit. He has been creating art throughout his life. “Making art me feel great,” he says. He paints whatever inspires him in the moment. 

Nancy Pittman
“Untitled”
Excel Healthcare

Nancy was born in 1938 in Altoona, Pennsylvania, the oldest in a family of three girls and one boy. Creative at an early age, she liked art, sang in plays and musicals, and learned to sew.

She attended nursing school and had one daughter, using her skills as a seamstress to sew all her daughter’s clothes. But at the age of twenty-four, Nancy’s life changed forever when she suffered an aneurism. After an extended hospital stay, her parents and siblings brought her home, helping her through a long period of rehabilitation. Never again able to frame words, she lived with her parents for many years.

Upon her parents’ death, Nancy moved to California in her late forties to be close to her daughter Rhonda.  She has four grandchildren, one of whom followed in her grandmother’s footsteps, attending Nancy’s former nursing school!

She still loves watching football and baseball, a legacy from her father, and her life is filled with painting, music, Bible study and good food (especially her favorite dessert of crème brûlée).  Her daughter describes her as strong, independent, self-reliant and a person who “walks to the beat of her own drum.” 

Canzanetta Lofton
“Circus”
Oakhill Springs

Canzanetta, known as Kansas, likes to recount how she received her unusual name. When she was born, her mother, undecided on what to name her, consulted another new mother across the room. The woman, a stranger, suggested the exotic name. But Canzanetta’s great grandmother, who lived to be 105, insisted on nicknaming her “Kansas,” since it was easier to pronounce.

Born in Sacramento, the first of three children, Canzanetta later moved with her family to Oakland. She has worked in an educational guidance center and various libraries stocking books, as well as at the Salvation Army and in convalescent homes.

Canzanetta has suffered from seizures and headaches most of her life, and was often bullied in school for not “talking right.” At the age of 18, with the help of Rev. Thomas Compton, she was fortunate to find a place where she could be herself—at the Berkeley Mt. Zion Baptist Church. 

She enjoys the slow music of radio station 102.9 and gospel music. And her AWE classes offer her an unexpected benefit: she never gets a headache when she’s working on her art.

Sheila Moore
“Moore II”
Excel Healthcare

Born in 1961 and raised Oakland, CA., Sheila attended McChesney Junior High and then Oakland High. Later on, she became a typist at Hine Laboratory and had two children. Throughout her life Sheila was very adventurous, her favorite thing growing up was motorcycles. She rode a four-wheeler around town. When she met her husband, they traveled the country together going as far as her husband was able to drive that day. They loved going on trips to different states and wanted to do so by motorcycle. A trip she recalls fondly is visiting her husband’s hometown in Oklahoma. Sheila’s dream is to travel to Egypt. 

Sheila began making artwork through Art With Elders. “My painting comes out of me wherever I am. I don’t know what is going to come out, it is sporadic and don’t know until I am there.” Art has become a form of self-expression for Sheila. Art making is an automatic gesture for her that happens naturally. “The teacher wants us to express and that is what happens. What comes out of me is what is in my background.” Sheila explains that when she is making art, her mind switches off and she just focuses on the art.

Jacqueline Cross
“Lonely Scene”
On Lok Peralta

Jackie likes cities. She was born in Philadelphia, the oldest of three girls, and moved to New York when she was seven. She later returned to Philadelphia, where she finished high school, and eventually moved again, this time to Atlantic City “to get away from home.”

She’s had an adventurous life. Married three times, Jackie is a mother of three daughters and three sons. She worked a number of jobs to help support her family, including as a cashier, waitress, and short-order cook.

Fifteen years ago she ventured out again, this time moving to California by herself at the age of 55. Jackie first lived in West Oakland and then three years ago came to the Cottonwood Apartments in Fremont, located right next to the On Lok Center.

It’s there that she started her newest adventure: taking up brushes and painting twice a week. Her favorite medium is watercolor and Jackie, whose mother is still going strong at 88, looks forward to many years of creating art.

 

AWE at San Francisco Women Artists Gallery
Celebrating our women artists!

San Francisco Women Artists Gallery
647 Irving Street at 8th Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94122
10:30 – 5:30 Tuesday – Saturday

Tues. Jan. 11 – Fri. Mar. 4, 2022
Opening Reception – Sat. Jan. 15, 2022 2-4pm

Featuring women of AWE and their work:
Hamida Asif – “Blue Cliffs” – On Lok Peralta
Victoria Chan – “Falls” – Cypress Golden Gate
Yu Chen – “Plein Air” – Oak Center Towers
Irene IrishH Higgins – “Crane by the Shore” – On Lok Gee Center
Yelena Khristich – “Open Mind“ – Western Park Apartments
Gretchen Klug – “Home” – Raksha Care Home
Chieko Lafferty – “DeKooning Woman” – Western Park Apartments
Gloria Learned – “Bluebird” – Heritage on the Marina
Leleticia Mapp – “Hearts” – Excell Healthcare
Ida Marksman – “Bathers” – Laguna Honda Hospital
Bess Meek – “Mystifying Walk in Central Park” – The Reutlinger Community
Nina Ng – “Messy” – Aspen Transitional Healthcare Pacific Heights
Teresa Picirillo – “Warrior Woman with Bear” – Laguna Honda Hospital
Vanita Shah – “Log House” – On Lok Peralta
Lotchanna Sourivong – “Colorfield Blue & Gray” – Laguna Honda Hospital
Maria Gladys Trujillo – “See Food” – UCSF Memory and Aging Center

Hamida Asif
“Blue Cliffs”
On Lok Peralta

 

Hamida describes herself as a happy person. “I have everything I desire and I thank God for my health and my children,” she says.

She was born in 1939 in Karachi, Pakistan, where she grew up with her six sisters and two brothers, many of whom are now scattered around the world. She and her husband, an engineer, had five children. Upon her husband’s retirement, her children called and begged them to live with them in Fremont. They immigrated to the U.S. about 15 years ago and now have 13 grandchildren.

Hamida likes to watch television and enjoys doing needlework. She used to do a lot of the cooking, but now she says that’s limited mainly to holidays. Her family still loves her delicious biryani, a mixed rice dish.

Her AWE classes are her first experience with art. She is open to any medium and has recently discovered acrylic on canvas. Landscapes are her favorite subject.

Victoria Chan
“Falls”
Cypress Golden Gate

Victoria “Vickie” Chan considers herself a lucky woman. Born in Hong Kong in 1931, she remembers people dying in the streets during the Japanese Occupation, which began when she was ten. “I’m a Christian,” she says. “I always thank God.

“When World War II ended, she attended an English high school and entered nursing school, following in the footsteps of her mother, who was a mid-wife. She undertook advanced nursing studies in England returning to Hong Kong to work as a head nurse until after the pro-communist riots in 1967. Then in 1968, she and her husband, an engineer, moved to the U.S. with their two young children.

Vickie worked for many years at Laguna Honda Hospital, first as a staff nurse on the night shift and later as head nurse. After her retirement she enjoyed frequent trips to Europe and China until a serious fall limited her travels. Now the grandmother of five goes to church and plays mahjong weekly, exercises and does tai chi every morning, and enjoys watching Chinese movies. Her AWE classes are the first time she has ever painted.

She feels she’s learned some lessons in life: “Always look forward, forget the past, trust in God, don’t complain, and be happy.”

Yu Chen
“Plein Air”
Oak Center Towers

“I’m old, but it’s OK. You enjoy yourself,” says this energetic 78 year old. Born in Shanghai, she started learning English in third grade. She still puts her skills in service to others as the official translator at Oak Center Towers, where she also helps with the weekly market and monthly newsletter.

A chemical engineer, Ms. Chen spent 35 years working in China. Her only daughter, with her mother’s English lessons and family’s financial help, later earned a degree in Electrical Engineering in the U.S. Ms. Chen and her husband joined her in New Jersey, but a cousin and warm weather lured them to Oakland in 2001. She still enjoys travelling, taking regular trips with her daughter.

Ms. Chen, who learned just a little art in her childhood, insists she’s not an artist. She advises, “Tell people even if you don’t know how to do color, any person can do it. No matter whether you’re an artist or not.” She enjoys painting flowers and animals and her favorite medium is watercolor. And the important lesson she’s learned in life: “If you want something, you can get it. Just try, even in the hardest times.”

Irene IrishH Higgins
“Crane by the Shore”
On Lok Gee Center

All her friends call her IrishH and she’s led an interesting life. A multi-talented performer, she led a blues band (Spoonful of Blues) in San Francisco, composing some of the songs, playing bass and singing lead. She has worked with a small local theater group (Ninjaz of Drama) behind the scenes and in performance. With a Mission district crew (A Waking Dream), she constructed fantastical costuming and participated in the local Carnival and Pride parades, as well as Unity celebrations.

 Always a bit of a nerd growing up, IrishH studied Spanish in high school, adding German studies and some French courses in college, and later Russian. IrishH used her academic skills to empower learners in Academic Support programs at City College of San Francisco and After School Programs at Visitacion Valley Middle School.

IrishH has been trying to deal with injury issues which have dogged her for years. Though she’s had to undergo surgery in 2015 and 2017 with another coming up probably next year, she is working on healing what she can through Physical therapy, Aquatic Physical Therapy and Pilates.

She came to On Lok through a CCSF Older Adult Program art class and continues along the creative path here experimenting with water colors, acrylics and gouache paints as well as at the San Francisco Senior Center working with oil paints and ceramics.

Yelena Khristich
“Open Mind“
Western Park Apartments

If you’re lucky, Yelena might sing you the Ukrainian folk song that is featured in this painting of her grandmother’s house where she spent her summers in the central Ukrainian town of Poltova. Born in Kiev in 1948, she lost her father at the age of thirteen, but went on to study in the Polytechnic University, where she met her husband. The couple raised a daughter, who inherited Yelena’s love of singing, and the family came to the U.S. in 1998.

Yelena began doing art with AWE five years ago, but a broken wrist interrupted her art-making. Her teacher Rafael gave her a series of exercises to help her brain recover from the trauma and on that same day, she was able to write her name for the first time with her non-dominant hand.

She likes to paint in what she calls “Ukrainian style,” once adapting the work of a Mexican artist that inspired her into her own native style. A creative person, she also enjoys sewing, embroidery, and knitting–a skill she uses to make blankets for babies in the neo-natal unit.

As for the lessons she’s learned: “Immigration is very hard, but if you like music and art it always helps you to recover and adjust. The deeper you go into a new culture, the better.”

Gretchen Klug
“Home”
Raksha Care Home

Gretchen was born in Alliance, Nebraska, and lived in several Midwestern cities in her youth before the family moved to San Diego. Her German-born father, an osteopath, and her mother believed in the importance of healthy living and Gretchen was raised in a nudist camp from the age of 10-18.

After coming to Berkeley, she worked as a secretary, taking dictation for Chancellors Robert Gordon Sproul and Clark Kerr. She remembers fondly the sense of community in Berkeley at the time—the wine and spaghetti parties, poetry, meditation groups, and folk music. For years Gretchen helped raise her sister’s children and she and her mother rented rooms to students who weren’t welcome in other places. She has also worked for the California State Dept. of Vocational Rehabilitation, Workmen’s Comp and an alcoholism clinic, her favorite job.

Gretchen has been interested in art since her childhood when she made art with the children she babysat, and despite serious vision issues continues to this day. What she describes as her best painting was a huge tiger, which she had to stop painting because it kept getting “bigger and bigger.” She’s a fan of Frida Kahlo and her AWE art teacher describes her work as “having a shamanic, Native American feel.”


Chieko Lafferty

“DeKooning Woman”
Western Park Apartments

The ebullient Chieko Lafferty, born in Kyoto, Japan, worked as an accountant. However, here dreams always led to art. After an apprenticeship, she began designing Western-style fabric patterns. Ten years later, she decided to visit the United States before settling down, but in San Francisco she met Jack, a dashing Scot, to whom she has now been married 36 years.

Chieko takes fine arts classes while continuing to work as a bookkeeper. She loves to draw, and enjoys painting still lifes, but her favorite is figure drawing. She regularly returns to the classics to check her technique. “If you can draw a circle, cylinder, box, you can draw,” Chieko explains. “The basics are so important. Sometimes it’s boring – another white bowl! But then you can go anywhere.”

Chieko enjoys reading in Japanese and murder mysteries in English, cooking all cuisines, listening to classical music, and taking walks. More than anything else, she is constantly exploring, seeking to develop her style. “There are rules, but rules are for breaking,” she laughs. “I love that!” For example, she will refigure classical compositions with a cubist technique and use origami paper for collage. “If I paint something and everyone says, ‘That’s Chieko’, that is what I want.”

Gloria Learned
“Bluebird”
Heritage on the Marina

Elegantly ebullient, with a warm, self-deprecating sense of humor, Gloria is 89 years old. Born in Tucson, Arizona, she grew up in Santa Barbara with her brother, Mark, and still has fond memories of a playhouse her father made for her, which even had a sink with a brass faucet and running water.

For their honeymoon, Gloria and her husband bought one-way tickets to Europe. In Paris and Darmstadt, she taught English to U.S. soldiers who did not speak English, while he was a journalist for the Stars and Stripes. They had four daughters.

Gloria loves the outdoors and enjoyed hiking by the lakes in Marin. She is still very active, attending Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, movies, and other outings with her daughters, granddaughter, and great-grandson. Always creatively inclined, she studied calligraphy, and also loved knitting and embroidery, but only began taking art classes five years ago. Recently, Gloria was enthralled by perspective drawing exercises taught in class, and she is excited to master this new challenge.

“The greatest thing in the world you can have is a sense of humor,” Gloria says. “Sad things happen to everyone, but it will get you through anything, if you can manage to laugh.”

Leleticia Mapp
“Hearts”
Excell Healthcare

Born in 1965 and raised in Oakland, CA., Leleticia’s life has been a challenging one, she went to several different elementary and middle schools and later worked on the street selling her body to make a living. Leleticia began having trouble with her vision at the age of 23, when she consulted her doctor they discovered a tumor on her optical nerve. Shortly after, she had a stroke and was in a wheel chair.

When she discovered Christianity, she turned her life around. She went to Laney and Merritt College, where she took a braille class, got a job at Royal Airways as a receptionist and has three beautiful children and a grandchild. “I love to color, but I love going to church more than anything.”

When in class, she has the instructor tape down her paper so that she can keep track of where she is working. Her preferred medium is crayons, she feels the texture of the paper and where she has already colored. Leleticia says, “I love bright colors, they give me a relaxed feeling.” She asks her instructor which colors are which of the crayons and sets them aside to use individually. “I have to ask which color is which because one time I put pepper in my coffee instead of sugar, so I want to be sure of what I choose.”

Ida Marksman
“Bathers”
Laguna Honda Hospital

Ida’s easygoing charm, sunny smile and vibrant spirit make clear why her nick name is “Beautiful,” as she blushingly confides. Born in San Francisco in 1940, a stroke paralyzed her right side when she was two years old. However, Ida declares, “I don’t feel like I missed out on anything. I did everything a normal person would do.”

Her parents immigrated from Northern Italy, and she grew up in North Beach “when it was special.” She cherishes memories of summer evenings when children would play kickball on Telegraph Hill as parents chatted on their front steps and of leisurely Sunday strolls with her family to Fisherman’s Wharf and Union Square.

One of life’s high points occurred when Ida was asked to sing for a benefit at the Fairmont Hotel. A fan of Doris Day and Al Martino, she still sings in the shows at Laguna Honda.

Ida always liked art and loves to color. Even her wheelchair is decorated with a pink butterfly and violet flowers. “I can stay here in the studio all day and draw,” she laughs. “I always wanted to and never got the chance. Now I have that chance.” Her advice: “Don’t quit. I never quit when I felt I wanted something.”

Bess Meek
“Mystifying Walk in Central Park”
The Reutlinger Community

“The colors are ecstatic,” Bess giggles, as she describes one of her colorful paintings that hangs above her bed. “That’s my little lavender person – it’s me. I call it ‘Voilà!’ When I paint, the colors have fragrance, a memory, a temperature and a feeling.”

Bess is infectious, just like her art. “I’ve been happy since the day I was born,” she says with a smile. She grew up in a family full of Pekinese and Pomeranian dogs, raised by her father, and reports proudly that she was frequently called on in class to read for the other immigrant students in the lower East Side of New York City, where she was born in 1932. Later she worked as an assistant bookkeeper for a giftware company, raised three children, and became intrigued with pharmacology.   

Bess has read everything from Erma Bombeck to Lobsang Rampa and boasts, “I’ve learned how not to be a stick in the mud.”  She’s a Gemini, loves German milk chocolate, and her favorite season is fall because “when you look outside, it makes you shiver inside.”  

Her wise advice: “If you don’t laugh, you get in a rut. Life is here for the living.”


Nina Ng

“Messy”
Aspen Transitional Healthcare Pacific Heights

Ninety-seven-year-old Nina speaks only a little English, but she’s still learning. “I like to learn, “she says. “Learning makes me happy.”

This gentle elder artist, born in Hong Kong, worked as a teacher and has three daughters, one son, and two grandchildren. Her happiest moments came when studying in college, and she still revels in the times she’s been able to return to Hong Kong.

Nina also reportedly likes to eat. Once she get up in the morning, she enjoys reading the Chinese newspaper at Kindred, and her caregivers report that she’s never given a mean look to anyone.

Nina’s philosophy is “just try,” and that’s what she’s been doing in her art class. Though Nina doesn’t think her art is good, her teacher Rafael disagrees. “She’s a rookie,” he explains, “who started with scribbles and has developed her own language of line and movement.”


Teresa Picirillo
“Warrior Woman
with Bear”

Laguna Honda Hospital

“Art makes the world pretty.” Teresa has been doing art all her life. She studied print making and metal arts at UCSF, but long before that, as a child, she used food coloring to decorate the meals on her dinner plate.  Born without a hip, Teresa has been disabled since birth. Her father died when she was quite young and she was sent to live with her grandmother. Her heart has already been broken she says and, so, it cannot be broken again.  Her goal has always been to decorate everything.  Make the world pretty!

She is a very prolific artist. Her drawings are very intricate, detailed and colorful. “Psychedelic!” one might think. In addition to selling her paintings, she supported herself making jewelry.  Using metal scraps left over from her classes at UCSF, she made one of a kind pieces which she sold on Castro Street.  Other street artists sold their work during the day. Wanting to have the street for herself, Teresa sold her jewelry at night.

Teresa’s drawings always tell a story. The story she is telling these days is about women and how powerful they are. “Women can save the world,” she says. “Eventually, women will save the world!”


Vanita Shah

“Log House”
On Lok Peralta

Vanita was born in 1942 in Varavel,  a city in the Gujarat province of India. She was the oldest of four brothers and a sister. She enjoyed art in school, but as was the tradition at the time, she left school after the eighth grade and entered an arranged marriage at the age of fifteen.

The couple had three sons and a daughter, and Vanita stayed at home caring for her children. She loved to cook, especially her specialties of samosas and shrikhand, a sweet dessert made of strained yogurt that is a Gujarati specialty. She is now the proud grandmother of seven grandchildren.

Vanita and her husband visited the United States whenever possible to see her children and she moved here after her husband’s death to be close to them. She has returned to India to see her husband’s family, as well as traveled to Dubai to visit one of her sons.

Vanita, who describes herself as a very good-natured person, feels that education is important and appreciates her AWE class. Her art teacher Dmitry says that she specializes in folk art and reports that, with her attention to details, her drawings take months to finish.

Lotchanna Sourivong
“Colorfield Blue & Gray”
Laguna Honda Hospital

A bright and determined individual, Lotchanna was born in Laos and moved to Santa Rosa, CA at the age of 4. She finished college and has traveled around the world, working variously as a barista, translator, community organizer, researcher, and more.

Lotchanna, called Channa by her friends, says her participation in the Art With Elders class allows her to learn new skills and increase her eye-hand coordination, as well as her patience. She describes herself as a “feisty and adventuresome risk-taker” adding that working in class has also helped her learn to control her temper by cultivating in her a sense of calm and patience. Some of her adventures include bungie jumping in Spain and driving cars in the desert of Saudi Arabia, an uncommon pursuit for women in that region. Her hobbies include travel, gardening, cooking, reading, and art.

Channa knows much about art thanks to visits to galleries and museums. She especially enjoys surrealist artists, such as Salvador Dali and appreciates abstract art like that of Jackson Pollock. Currently, Channa is working with acrylics on abstract compositions, frequently painting in layers, and even experimenting with torn paper and tape to create 3-dimensional paintings. Channa values her ”art family” and believes “there’s a reason behind everything.”

Maria Gladys Trujillo
“See Food”
UCSF Memory and
Aging Center

Maria Gladys comes from a large family in El Salvador. The eldest of 7, she helped raise her siblings. She and her sister immigrated to the United States in 1972 and she has lived in San Francisco for the majority of her life. On arriving in the United States, she and her sister started working immediately to help their family. She took classes to learn English and manufacturing, and worked producing school uniforms for children. Maria Gladys was happy to meet her husband after being in the U.S. for about 4 years, and they have two daughters together. She is excited to have grandchildren one day.

Maria Gladys loves all of the feedback she has received from the AWE class instructors. She feels that her drawing skills keep improving and that motivates her to continue attending class. Aside from drawing, she enjoys gardening and taking long walks. She has also been enjoying spending time with her daughter, who recently moved back to San Francisco from the east coast. Her other daughter has been living in France for about 10 years.

Maria Gladys says she has seen a lot of changes in San Francisco over the years and she is proud of her hard work and her family.

Artists from the AWE program at
Openhouse Bob Ross LGBTQ Senior Center
and Coventry Place
Hosted
by Spike’s Coffees and Teas
Mon. Jan. 3 – Tues. Feb. 1, 2022

A Visual Story Through Self

This exhibit, “A Visual Story Through Self,” features art and artists from the AWE program at the Openhouse Bob Ross LGBTQ Senior Center. Openhouse works to center the voices and experiences of LGBTQ+ older adults by providing opportunities to make social connections and build community. These artists encompass the dynamic diversity that enriches San Francisco. Their artworks were made in community art classes with Art With Elders. AWE uses technology and art to bridge the isolating divide of the ever-changing circumstances of the pandemic. This show represents a rich tapestry of varied perspectives woven together through the dynamic language of visual art. These artists’ visual stories remind us that connection is an ongoing creative process that results in an ever-evolving community. 

Openhouse Artists
Keith Baillie – “Castro Collage”
LA Campos de la Garza (Luis) – “Falling For Fall”
Robert Leone – “Abstract with Flowering Vine”
Lourdes Riviera Pollard – Vejigantes
Kim Ringle – “Bamboo”
Fran Schiff – “She Her They Them”
Kered Whitcraft – “EDM”

Crescent Park Artist
Rita Gibbs – “BUTTER”

Artists of Openhouse Bob Ross LGBTQ Senior Center – Instructor Hugh Leeman

“Castro Collage”
Keith Baillie

Keith Baillie is a Brit who worked in Silicon Valley and is now retired in San Francisco. His passion is traveling but the covid shutdown has afforded more time to paint scenes from photos of the city and his travels. He is an untrained, naïve artist primarily using gouache. He is currently a student of Hugh Leeman’s Art for Elders course (through Openhouse).

Castro Collage

“Falling For Fall”
LA Campos de la Garza

Luis de la Garza’s life-long interest in art found him working many years in museums, archives, and libraries managing their collections. Collages and graphic design have been his major artistic output. He participates with other elder community members in San Francisco’s Openhouse art classes taught by Art With Elders instructor Hugh Leeman.

This piece is an expression of what is elicited in the artist when Fall comes around. The color orange permeates his reverie. The rolling hills of northern California come into focus with hues of purple in the sky. Folks in their finery gather around meals and share community and family. Gratitude abounds for having access to that food. These imaginary responses are formed in at his home alone as he continues to face cautionary precautions brought upon by virus variants. Acrylic paint and cutouts from magazines and junk mail were used to create this collage. 

“Abstract with Flowering Vine”
Robert Leone

“I’ve been taking an art class with Hugh Leeman through Openhouse since November of 2020, and I’ve come to rely on it as a mainstay of my week, especially with the restrictions imposed by the ongoing pandemic.

I look forward to using what I’ve learned and spend several hours each week working on various art projects, which is a new experience for me and very satisfying. I look at everyday things in my life or ideas that have been running around in my head and see how I can incorporate them into my art.”

Lourdes Rivera Pollard
“Vejigantes”

Puerto Rican, born in New York City.  

“In the early 60’s I moved to Big Sur, San Francisco and now I live in
Los Gatos/Santa Cruz mountain.

I love the fact that the AWE program offers Zoom Art class to elders. This has allowed me and others to participate from home by eliminating travel barriers and invisible borders. The AWE program made me realize I missed painting. For the last 30 plus years, my main involvement in the arts had been as a photographer.

Due to COVID 19, being out in the public was not an option for me. With Openhouse AWE, I was able to turn negative into a positive opportunity by participating in a weekly online class with instructor Hugh Leeman. The Saturday class has given me a group of diverse elders to meet with, positive support, and a place to meet, learn, share ideas and make new friends.” 

 

   “Bamboo”
   Kim Ringle

I am a lesbian artist who has made San Francisco her home for the past 45 years. With my trademark “Blue Nails” or signature “Keem” I have worked in all kinds of media from drawing, painting and collage to puppetry and music. 

In the past, I was part of “Hand Ghost Theatre”, now defunct, a puppetry group that designed and created it’s own scripts, puppets, scenery and music. Recently, my collage “Dancers” was a winner in the Openhouse “Pride Inside” 2021 Art Contest.

 

 

“She Her They Them”
Fran Schiff

“EDM”
Kered Whitcraft

Kered is legally blind with advanced glaucoma. Nine months ago a friend suggested to try and Art With Elders class. Even though he’s going blind, Kered began to truly “see” for the first time through the creation of art.

“EDM” – Magazine ads and acrylic paint collage:

“I screen capture just several videos of Instagram/TikTock underground trance DJ, Solomon_Keys_Official’s trippy videos. I love attempting to capture what his music feels like to me.”

Artist of Crescent Park – Instructor Hugh Leeman

 

 

“BUTTER”
Rita Gibbs

I am a 66 year old black woman who has been handicapped for the last 5 years, and in the last year have started to enjoy art, in the last year I’ve been taking art class with Hugh and now I’m really enjoying drawing art.

AWE Community Feature:
AWE at The Sequoias – Featuring artists of The Sequoias with AWE Special Guests

Sept. 13 – Oct. 30, 2021

Always Beginning:
Beginning, Invention, and Discovery

May 15 – Sept. 15, 2021
Link to view exhibit here

“The artist is always beginning” Ezra Pound

AWESTRUC Art Share
with the AWE Open Studios
and Dr. George W. Davis
Senior Center
April 15 – June 15, 2021

Link to View Exhibit

“Radiant Hues” by Larry McCown and “Hillside Deer” by Shirley Keller

The Open Studios are part of our AWESTRUC (Art With Elders Shared Through resourcefully Using Computers) program. The AWESTRUC program, developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, consists of online interactive classes held using the Zoom platform. While many of the online classes serve specific senior living communities or day programs, we also offer Open Studio classes for individuals.

Open to all ages and abilities, the Open Studios provide an opportunity for friends and families to join together in art-making, and engage artists living independently from across the U.S. To learn more or sign up, please visit our Online Classes page. This exhibit is accompanied by a video of our Art Share event in which the featured artists talk about their work.
Event Video:

Heartworks: From AWE with Love
AWE Artists celebrate love for Valentine’s Day
Link Here to View Works
February 14 – April 14, 2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


“Heart 1”
Danielle Dossier Lytton Gardens and“Hearts” Shirley Swift The Davis Center

We Dream, We Paint
A collection of recent works by AWE Artists

January 15 – March 15, 2021
Link here to view exhibit works

“It’s All in the Eyes” by John Collister – Saturday Open Studio

“I dream my painting and I paint my dream.” – Vincent Van Gogh

The Connected Earth and Other Works
A collection of recent works by AWE Artists
November
15 – January 15, 2021
Link here to view exhibit


“The Connected Earth” by Gloria Ruth and “My Son, Steve” by Rita R. Goldman

Every Canvas is a Journey All It’s Own
Landscapes of the Imagination
September 15 – November 15, 2020

Link here to view exhibit

Partner Site Feature: The Reutlinger Community
September 15 – November 15, 2020 Link Here

Art With Elders has been in partnership with The Reutlinger Community and Artist Instructor Betty Rothaus for many years. This exhibit features work from eleven of her Artist Participants, as well as images and brief biographies of the artists.

Bringing Unique Visions to Life
Full time Artist-in-Residence, Betty Rothaus, MFA, (center above) offers residents individual guidance in bringing their unique vision to life. Within a beautiful fine arts studio, residents who have never created art before, as well as experienced artists, enjoy learning new skills and expressing themselves through drawing, painting in oil, acrylic, pastels or watercolor, sculpting/pottery in clay, collage, textiles, jewelry and/or mixed media.  Exhibitions each year provide a joyous sharing of our residents’ accomplishments with the entire community.
The Reutlinger Community Art Program (https://www.rcjl.org/the-reutlinger/art-program/

Resilient!
Link Here to view show

Featuring works by 85 artists from across the Bay Area
July 15 – September 15, 2020

 

PANDEMIC RESPONSE ART

AWE Artist-Participants respond to the pandemic with creativity.

Susan McCown

Susan, from California, retired to Hawaii where she enjoyed the beauty of nature. As a member of the group, Wise Old Women (WOW), she painted, created pottery, arranged flowers, and learned the art of “Healing Touch.” She returned to Vallejo to be near her family. A resident of Vallejo Hills, she enjoys the sense of community there. She has become a dedicated member of the AWE class. Fellow classmate and husband Larry says of his partner, “She’s an artful soul!”

THEY HAVE NAMES


Fran Marcus

I have enjoyed dabbling in art since I was in elementary school. As an adult, I have taken classes in painting, stained glass, jewelry and mixed media.I taught elementary school for many years and always loved doing art projects with my students.  Often, long after they went home I would find myself drawn back to the art table to experiment with new approaches to the lesson. I enjoy art history and always make it a point to visit art museums when I travel. Since joining AWE in April I have been experimenting with various mediums (watercolors, colored pencils, acrylics, markers, charcoal) and learning techniques for doing landscapes, portraits and abstract art. I find the classes educational,  challenging, relaxing and rewarding. In addition, I find that I really  enjoy making art in community with others.  

Living with Uncertainty

 

Covid-19 Quilt

Shirley Keller

Spirit Hill Meditation Garden and Art Studio, in Three Rivers, is Keller’s favorite place to be, letting the creative energies have the day. Keller plays with clay, focusing on ceramic masks. Repurposed items like hubcaps, skill saws, horseshoes, and more, are made into art pieces with dots of acrylic. Mixing words and art is her latest exploration on canvas and hubcaps. Gift Cards Keller designs from her photography. Keller’s art work grew out of her love of writing, which she does every morning. Coordinator for 1st Saturday in Three Rivers, a monthly art event.

Let There Be Peace

Mary Ann Taylor

I am a retired elementary teacher. I taught all grades during my career and my favorite grade was fifth, because of the students’ interest and the curriculum. I also taught in Finland and Taiwan. I loved the cultural experience and making lasting friends. I enjoy the Art With Elders’ classes, since I did not have time to study art until I retired.

Kay Talbot

I am indebted to Art With Elders for providing a new experience with art. To me art is a different way of seeing our world. When I was in practice as a life transitions counselor, I used drawing and collage with some of my clients. This was especially effective with adults and children who were grieving a loss. I am the author of a workbook titled “What Happens Next: Messages from Heaven.” It provides space to answer contemplative questions with writing, drawing, and/or painting. I am a resident of Vallejo Hills retirement community in Vallejo where I first learned about AWE. Thank you for your wonderful art courses.

Pandemic Eyes

Chelsea Lee

Chelsea Lee is 8 years old.  This is her first time taking online class with her mother and she enjoyed it very much.  Chelsea completed this “Covid 19” in May for the class theme: Pandemic Response Art.  She said: “I like art because I can be creative and make beautiful artworks.  I like to use color-pencils because it won’t leak through like markers and it is easier than other mediums; it is more focus on drawing which I like it better.”

COVID 19

 

COVID-19

Pamela Osborne

I love to sit and sketch, not looking at my paper to make sure it “looks” right as a meditative process. When I can bypass all the negative talk in my head, the final art piece always humbles and amazes me. Then I experience what is possible.

Kay Talbot

I am indebted to Art With Elders for providing a new experience with art. To me art is a different way of seeing our world. When I was in practice as a life transitions counselor, I used drawing and collage with some of my clients. This was especially effective with adults and children who were grieving a loss. I am the author of a workbook titled “What Happens Next: Messages from Heaven.” It provides space to answer contemplative questions with writing, drawing, and/or painting. I am a resident of Vallejo Hills retirement community in Vallejo where I first learned about AWE. Thank you for your wonderful art courses.

COVID 19

 

Louise Gibler

Louise has lived a life “centered in art.” Born in New Jersey, she and her husband Dick met when they were both working for a Superior Court judge. Dick was a landscape painter and she began painting with him, often taking their easels and oils outside to paint together. While living in New Jersey, they began attending classes at the well known Arts Students League in New York at the time when Jackson Pollock and Georgia O’Keeffe were there. The couple worked and painted together until Dick’s death at the age of 75. She moved to Canada near Toronto where her son was living and joined an art community. “Art,” she says, “saved my life.”

Pandemic 2020
Paula Thompson

 

 

Cool Cats Wear Masks
Carol Martin
After so many years of lifetus interruptus, I began painting again now that I am retired and have mucho Covid-19 time on my hands.  High school and college were my painting days of still life and abstracts  with a prize and honorable mentions here and there while living in Colorado.  My inspiration to paint again was late 2019, floral and fauna, but also, began a Fire Art painting in honor and awareness for our firefighters.  Though I am not a professional (yet) and have no special certificates or degrees, I absolutely love working with oils and acrylics painting any subject.  Attempting watercolors and colored pencil, still a challenge. Please check out my website carolsoriginals.com and note my granddaughter’s gallery.  May my legacy be of encouraging my granddaughter to push forward with her talent.
Mandate 2020