Online Exhibits

Welcome to Online Exhibits

Through online classes and exhibits, AWE is able to reach out to seniors in a new way. Artist-participants interact with their instructor and classmates through the Zoom meeting platform. Weekly classes include a lesson presentation, classwork review, and work time. Classwork is then selected and shared as an online exhibition.

Resilient! An online exhibit featuring works by our current program participants. July 15-Sept 15, 2020

We are very proud to present our first exhibit since our program has gone online due to the pandemic. We will continue to exhibit new classwork on a bi-monthly schedule, and have other exciting exhibition plans in the works!

Through these challenging times, we have worked to stay in touch with our participants by mail, email, phone, Facetime, and Zoom. There have been many hurdles, but we remain determined to offer friendship, and a creative outlet, to seniors during this period of heightened stress and isolation during which many are quarantined, unable to even visit with family members.

In March, when health risks to seniors curtailed our usual in-person classes, we began offering online classes. Instructors and Artist-Participants now meet weekly via Zoom. The online classes are a bright spot of hope and joy for us all. We meet once a week for two hours for art instruction and social interaction. Individuals and groups living independently or residing at senior living communities are invited to sign up for our classes. Please email our Director, Mark Campbell, for details, Classes are priced on a sliding scale with full scholarship available. See our Online Classes page for more information.

For this exhibit, “Resilience,” we have included one piece from each artist who chose to submit an entry. The group represents artists across the Bay Area from Vallejo to San Jose.

Vallejo Hills and Friends with Darcie

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!”

Larry McCown

Larry, from California, worked on Mare Island in the ship-building and nuclear submarine industries. Larry retired to Vallejo Hills where he met his wife, fellow AWE student, Susan. Susan encouraged Larry to join her in art class. He enjoys coloring geometric designs with glitter gels pens, and also works on the computer using graphics software. In class with Susan and friends, he jokes, “It’s all her fault, and I love it…I really do enjoy this, what I am doing!”

Heart of Many Colors

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.

Fran Marcus

Melinda Allen

Sandra Collister

I have been an artist wannabe, for some time. I collect art supplies with a yearning to create, but then, the supplies sit unused.  Just this summer, under supervision of Darcie at Art With Elders, I’ve been able to sit down and focus on creating an image or two that actually please me and that I can feel good about.  I take to heart the statement, “to create takes courage.”

John Collister

Covid-19 has no side effects or symptoms that are desirable or sought after pleasant.  To my delight because of the stay at home mentality I decided to participate in the AWE on-line class.  Surprisingly, I am enjoying the experience.  Previously some years ago, I had taken a day long watercolor class wherein I had failed drawing distance stick figure people.  I give to Darcie for her guidance a thankful virtual hug.

Insio Che

Insio Che has a BFA degree in Illustration and MM degree in piano Pedagogy. She has been teaching Art and Piano in SF/Bay area over 20 years.

Insio has been teaching with AWE since 2005, this is her first time taking Darcie’s online class with her daughter, Chelsea Lee. They enjoy and appreciate Darcie’s class weekly. Insio completed this “Cherry Blossom” watercolor painting in May (cherry picking season) for the class theme: Nature.

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 “Tree House” in May for the class theme: Favorite Place.  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.”

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.

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.  

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.

Darcie O’Brien

I’ve been teaching with AWE for almost 8 years, but this is my first online class. The “students” inspire me, I am impressed how brave and dedicated everybody is! I learn a lot from everyone and really value the friendships that have developed through our working together. I did this painting for our class assignment, but still need to finish it!

Oak Center Towers with Insio

Kekun Ouyang

“Follow your heart and your passion,” says this native of China with a smile, “and keep doing what you want to do.” And that’s what he is doing today in his art class. KeKun loves to go to local beaches, the forest, and Yellowstone National park—all of which feed his love of nature.  KeKun hadn’t picked up a paint brush since his days in elementary school. Now he creates and composes his own art and especially likes to paint animals from pictures.

Hui Lan Li

Born in the Canton province of China in 1940, Hui Lan came to the U.S. in 2000, worked as an elementary school teacher in China. She married in 1964 and has two daughters and two grandchildren. She describes herself as a happy person who loves to be of service to others. In addition to caring for her husband and apartment, she helps out at the local farmers’ market. AWE classes have been her first experience in art. Her favorite medium is acrylics.

Insio Che

Insio has a BFA degree in Illustration and MM degree in piano Pedagogy. She has been teaching Art and Piano in SF/Bay area over 20 years. Insio started teaching with AWE since 2005 and at Oak Center Towers since June 2010. There are 10-11 enthusiastic elders participate in the art class weekly, many like to work on their arts outside of the class daily.  It has been very difficult for everyone during the pandemic, Insio is happy to stay connect with all of her students and continue to teach some of them virtually. Everyone is grateful and look forward to this Online Exhibition. 

Belmont Village, Western Park Apartments, and El Bethel with Mei Mei

Yu Mei Lu

Born in China, Mei came to live in San Francisco in 2007 to be near her daughter. She also has a son in Boston and three grandchildren, and enjoys playing  piano, cross-stitching, and knitting. Mei loves the feeling of freedom that painting gives her, especially with acrylics. Art, she feels, increases your self-confidence, and “makes your life happy and peaceful.” Her advice: “Art is from the inside–it’s your idea. Don’t let outside things cover your inside things.”

Margaret Miller

Margaret Mary was born in Chicago and moved to California in her teens. After attending Brooks Institute of Photography, she opened a photo studio, owned a flower shop, and later became director of Loaves and Fishes’ Service Center. Eventually she founded “Sister Nora’s Place,” a shelter for homeless schizophrenic women. Now at Belmont Village, she enjoys creating floral designs, exploring painting and reading to her grandkids. The biggest lesson she discovered and embraced: “We are all the same.”

Sarah Armstrong

Sarah Armstrong was born in Oil City, Pennsylvania. She worked for IT&T and then Campbell Soup Company where she was in charge of pay and benefits. She plays classical piano and has recently taken up the cello. She enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren. Her advice is to “know who you are and stand on your own two feet.”

Yelena Khristovich

Yelena was born in the Ukraine and came to the U.S. in 1998. She began doing art with AWE six years ago, but a broken wrist interrupted her art-making. Her art teacher gave her exercises to help her recover from the trauma. She likes to paint in what she calls “Ukrainian style.”  She also enjoys sewing, embroidery, and knitting–a skill she uses to make blankets for babies in the neo-natal unit.

Chieko Lafferty

Chieko, always an art lover, is from Kyoto, Japan. She also enjoys reading, cooking, classical music, and taking walks. She is constantly exploring through art, 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.”

Alice Gibbons

Alice studied art in San Francisco and Paris. She has worked devotedly to achieve a high degree of competence which has paid off handsomely in local, national and international exhibits of her work. She is represented by galleries in the U.S. and abroad, and her prints especially are in many private collections. She’s always determined to find a way to express herself. “I find I become quite peaceful in this process,” she notes, “it’s nutrition for the soul. I feel better physically, too.”  

Masha Beylin


Mei Mei Everson

On Lok East San Jose, On Lok Peralta, and Ageway Boarding Care with Dmitry

M Hoang

N Huynh

Andy Banh

Andy was born in Vietnam and immigrated to U.S in 1987. Andy never dreamed of painting until he joined an art class at On Lok. He’s been painting for four years, and enjoys copying pictures from old calendars. As a Buddhist, he believes in benevolent kindness. He is always happy to help people, particularly the homeless. His philosophy of life is: “No matter what religion you are, if you believe in kindness you will find happiness and peace.”

Carlos Chavez

Carlos was born in Chihuahua, Mexico and later settled in San Jose. As an 18-year member of the Cement and Concrete Workers Union, Carlos has helped build many Bay Area freeways before his retirement. He and his wife Virginia have four children and several grandchildren. Carlos likes to sing karaoke, loves corridos and norteña music, plays the piano, and even composes some of his own songs. He also enjoys painting, which he finds very relaxing. This charming artist with a wonderful sense of humor says of himself, pointing to his chest: “This heart is very big. Everybody fits here.”

Lan Lai

Mr. Lan-Lai was born in Vietnam, where he worked as a national nurse and as an interpreter. He has two children and four grand-children, and enjoys taking nature walks and playing with radio-controlled airplanes. Despite some vision issues, he and his wife faithfully attend the weekly art classes. His teacher Dmitry says that Mr. Lan-Lai’s signature mark is his ability to create a soft pastel-like light tone in his images, using colored pencils.

M Nguyen

M Olea

C Tran

J Taco

M Solis

A Tran H Tran

Huong Vo

Huong was born in Vietnam and has always devoted her life to her children and grandchildren. She loves to cook and exercise. She advises: “Love all living things and don’t ever lose your temper.” Huong believes in the importance of hard work and patience. AWE is her first experience with art, as she never had the luxury of doing art until now. Huong always does her best working on the scene that her art teacher Dmitry provides and feels content to pour all her emotions into her art. “It’s like a therapy to me,” she says.

Maria Alfaro

Born in El Salvador, Maria went to New York with her three children. A widow, she now lives alone, with her children in the area. Maria has always done beautiful embroidery. “I made beautiful things,” she says. She enjoys reading and rare outings to beaches, rivers, and lakes. It’s important to her to be of service to others, especially to newcomers, but she regrets her limited English skills. Her teacher Dmitri recognizes Maria’s natural talent with color, as she uses vivid colors and sees color in intense ways.

Hamida Asif

Hamida, from Pakistan, describes herself as a happy person. “I have everything I desire and I thank God for my health and my children,” she says. She and her husband immigrated to the U.S. about 16 years ago to be with their five children and 13 grandchildren. Hamida likes to watch television and enjoys doing needlework. She likes to cook for her family on holidays. Her family especially loves her delicious biryani. 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.


Nordmann Fernandez

From San Salvador, Nordmann a father of six with a passion for reading, worked in law offices and government for many years. “I haven’t been a saint, nor a wise man,” says this elder artist with a great sense of humor, “but I respect God and His creation.” He likes to serve others and enjoys dancing. Nordmann’s AWE classes were his first exposure to making art himself but he’s patient with it. Like Confucius advised, he said, I’m trying to “discover beauty in everything.”

Sr. Marie Casattas

Sister Julie has been a nun with the Sisters of the Holy Family for 65 years. She taught kindergarten and worked with families in California and Nevada. A lover of music, Sister Julie has enjoyed singing and playing “semi-classical” and gospel music. She began painting and exhibiting with the AWE program a few years ago.  In her AWE classes, she likes drawing flowers, sunsets, and animals in pastel chalk. “You gotta keep moving and try something different,” she advises.

Sr. Andrea Rangel

Sister Andrea Rangel was born in Tracy, California, where her family settled after emigrating from Mexico. She  entered the convent at the age of 25.
Sister Andrea has always felt most enriched when surrounded by people from diverse cultures, and has had a lifelong appreciation for art. She was thrilled at the opportunity to join the AWE class at On Lok Peralta, “Every painting is a surprise. Sometimes I’ll make a mistake and think that the piece isn’t going to work, but then I’ll look at the completed work and say to myself “not bad” and feel proud that I created it.” As for words of wisdom, Sister Andrea had this to say, “Acquire a hobby early in life. Stay active and creative.”

Anna Tzanova

Anita Arora

Vanita Shah

Vanita was born in India and moved to the U.S. later in life to be close to her four children and seven grandchildren. She loves to cook Indian dishes for her family. 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.

Dmitry Grudsky

Working for many years in Eldergivers organization I established warm and trustful relationship with our residents. Having art classes on regular basis I am always looking forward to see my students and I am sure they were anticipating to see me as well. It was well maintained organized smooth process of learning art skills, practicing, exchanging news and just socializing in the class room. Since COVID19 epidemic struck in March we all had to change our social commitments. In order to be safe all Art With Elders in person classes were cancelled. Virtual art lessons is one of the forms available to continue our program. With the support of On Lok administration and activity directors we are restarting our classes. So far it is a small group of seniors participating but I hope that more residents will adapt new technological task and feel comfortable in online classes.

On Lok Gee Center and Mission Plaza Apartments with Min

Jade Chen

Jade Huang

Tunde Zwerencz

Tunde was born in Hungary and came to the U.S in 1992. She was as a social worker, she loves to help people and loves to learn. Tunde was inspired by her father who was a famous Fine Artist in Hungary. Tunde says, “Creating arts can calm me down, help me to focus, forget and ease my physical pains. Attending Art with Elders class helped me a lot. I am living very happily now!” Tunde’s also advises: “Making art is not easy but don’t give up, take step by step and be persistent to practice.”

Irish Higgins

A multi-talented performer, Irish led a blues band in San Francisco, and has worked with a local theater group. She has studied several languages and used her academic skills to empower learners at City College of San Francisco and Visitacion Valley Middle School. She continues along the creative path experimenting with watercolors, acrylics, oil paints, and ceramics at the San Francisco Senior Center.

Jade Fong Jade Luo
Concepcion Calantog Jade Ng

Pearl Pooner

Pearl grew up in San Francisco and took art at City College. After raising a family, she began painting again. During her recovery from severe health problems, including one month in a coma, Pearl slowly regained control of her fingers by drawing shapes. Circles at first, then triangles and finally her toy dog. Much of work she is creating now is inspired by the dreams she had while in the hospital.

Chen Ying Shao

Min Lee

The Reutlinger Community with Betty Rothaus

Evelyne Ostreicher

When I was a kid, my first experience in a synagogue was being in the upstairs sanctuary of a house in Ohio. Over the years, I have been a member in synagogues in Ohio, Vegas, Walnut Creek, and Danville and have visited them all over the world in my travels and in books. One  day, it came to me that I’ve never heard of a synagogue in the forest!  So, I thought, what if I create one? I would certainly like to go, and I think others would also, whether reform, conservative or orthodox. More and more I dreamt of this synagogue, “Beit Or: House of Light” and now I have the artistic tools to create it!  It makes me feel good that I can make this, visit it and share it with the world!                                                                                          

Beit or: House of Light

Doris Langer

One day in the art room, I was looking at a book on butterflies and saw some of the  wings  had been photographed under a microscope.  The colors were so beautiful, they inspired me to fly! These miraculous wings also inspired a series I have been working on for over a year- on flight! In this painting “In Flight”, I see butterflies taking off in the sky-at night in the darkness.  When I make these brushstrokes, the movement of my arm feels like flying!  The paint is shimmering like the movement of their wings.  For me, its all about color and movement.  When I create something I like, it makes me happy.

In Flight

Bess Meek

This seems like a mystical woods. It,s interesting, when I look at it I feel it is wild and noisy!

It also brings up the question- “Why am I here?” I would like to know what other people see and feel when they are “Walking in the Mystic Woods”?

Walking in the Mystic Woods II

Sidney Glickfeld

The heavenly body seen in this painting is part of our solar system! Since the beginning of human history and before, It has provided us with a form of starlight in our late afternoons. “Starlight, Starbright”, is in primitive Yosemite, probably a thousand years ago.  This was the home of Native Americans, who practiced conserving the land. They revered nature as holy.  This is a practical approach to (conserving) our place in the universe.                                                                                                          Starlight, Starbright

Marjorie Cohen

I began “Fog on the Mountainside” last November,  but ran into a medical problem which took me away from working for several months. It was much harder to start up again, since, the skills I had learned were no longer fresh in my mind.    However, with time, practice and patience, I regained my ability to follow the process, interpret the colors and do what I set out to do. Originally , I was very attracted to the subtlety and softness of the colors in this scene.  I liked the mix of blues, grays and yellow nearby in the sky and in the reflections.   After finding a title for the painting, I more clearly realized its true subject.  I went back into it and emphasized the fog with paint and water. I accomplished painting this picture as I envisioned it!

Fog on the Mountainside

Maher Salama

I am a man of faith.

I have learned the technique of painting late in my life through much guidance. I never expected to learn to draw and paint such beauty in G-d’s creation for generations to admire! I did it for people to enjoy.

When I start the day and look at the sky and see the beauty of heavenly creation,  I open my eyes with life and happiness. Love peace on earth. G-d bless you always and forever.

God’s Creation: Morning Drizzle

Joan Gill

          This is happening !!!   …and I thought “ it’s so good!!!

 …and all the shapes are getting along!”  

       Joan Gill

Circle Round

Rita R. Goldman

This prima ballerina is taking a bow after her performance!  Her troupe mates look on with admiration at her skill, and are tinged with envy at her position in the spotlight. They are also hopeful for their own future success knowing the work and effort required to achieve that kind of joy in the dance and the artistic success it brings. They have to dance because its a gift they’ve been given. As artists, they feel a responsibility to develop their G-d given gift.

The Prima Ballerina Takes a Bow        

Robert DeMatheis

“Forest Spring”  broadened my perspective of distances.

Through painting the faint mist of the background, the solidness of the cliffs in the middle ground and high contrasts of the forest in the foreground, I created the illusion of space!

After painting this, the brightness and the colors reminded me of springtime.


Forest Spring

Betty Rothaus

Remember to Remember who you are and where you are.

The Master of the Good Name taught: there is a river of pure Love that flows through the universe …and connecting all people , places and things. We may …“draw power from this stream of blessing at any time. All that is required is to pause and remember it’s always there.” The problem is that we forget. We are very “busy.” Each day, thousands of thoughts and feelings anchored in the past or future prevent us from being present. They prevent us from enjoying beauty, distract us from loving ourselves, and others and from seeing and appreciating the richness and magic surrounding us.

Dwight’s Vision

Mission Neighborhood Centers and The Friday Group with Santiago

Adelaida Moreno

Originally from El Salvador. I arrived in the United States of America in 2001. I joined the Senior Center between 19th street and Capp in which I am still an active member. I feel we have a family like connection at the center. I thank God that despite the situation in which we are living right now, Mrs. Aurora Alvarado and Joana Mattero in the company of Mrs. Maria Campos and Claudia Perez-Vaughan worked very hard in provides us with virtual classes in which all classes are excellent. “The painting” class, exercises, well each one are excellent. The ones where I participate help me to be less worried about how much time I have to be in quarantine and I am very grateful for their dedication, their patience to us. Thank you very much.

La Ermita de Mi Barrio –
My Neighborhood’s Hermitage

Esperanza Salazar

I am originally from El Salvador. I am very grateful and happy at the same time for the new thing they have decided to do for us at the Capp Mission Neighborhood Center. What happiness! Being able to communicate virtually with all our colleagues and friends. I remember that before the shelter in place was ordered we all enjoyed all the activities and going to the center. Lately I feel very good, surprised, happy again at different times, triumphing with technology. I am very happy because every day of the week we receive different classes, such as exercises, guitar, Tai chi, Latin dance, psychology, and drawing. I like the art class a lot because I can express and give life to many of my ideas that I have. Thank you very much.

Paseando –  Strolling Around

Maria Esperanza Flores

Since March, our lives have changed, we have to be at home protecting ourselves from this COVID-19 pandemic for being more vulnerable, but these things always come in addition. We are united with the Capp center (MNC); we have realized how important teachers are, like our Art teacher Santiago who show us videos of famous Artist. We are entertained drawing, coloring, reviewing our drawings and we are very happy for this class. They have given us materials for us to work on, such as drawing pages, they have lent us color pencils and also tablets and the internet. Thanks for everything, I love you, God bless you.

Haitiana – Haitian

Rosario Martinez

I am originally from El Salvador; I arrived in San Francisco 43 years ago. I am 73 years old. My first job was at Mission Neighborhood Center; I worked 30 years and went to work at LHH and SFGH Hospital and Clinica De La Raza in Oakland. Now I have visited MNC again for the services rendered to the community. The art class on Saturdays made me remember when I was going to school. I like to draw. Now with the teacher Santiago Gervasi I have learned again. I am very grateful that this class helped me while we are shelter in place. It has helped me a lot to use my mind and develop my skills. I thank the teacher and MNC very much for taking an interest on my well-being. I want to add something else, Mr. Santiago Ruiz was the director when I worked there and when I told him that I was leaving he said, “If you don’t like the new job or need to come back; you are very welcome.” and he is still the director now. Thank God and you for making life easier and more reliable.

Fruta Fresca

Ana Miranda

Hello, my name is Ana Miranda. I am an active participant in the classes offered through Mission Neighborhood Centers Inc. I greatly appreciate these classes as I am learning so many new things. I have always loved and enjoyed to draw. In the Art class, I have learned many more skills on how to use colors and how to combine them. Our teacher Santiago Gervasi is very knowledgeable and a joy to learn more and more skills from him. I feel very blessed to be able to participate in this class.

Gato en la Ventana – Cat at the Window

Concepcion Ruiz

My name is Concepción Ruiz, I was born in Mexico. I have been living here in the United States for many years. A friend invited me to go to the Mission Neighborhood Centers about four years ago or more.

Before I went to another center, they are all very nice, but when I started coming to this one I decided to stay here because I met many very friendly people and the staff who works here at the center always look for programs and services for our benefits.

Now that we cannot leave because of COVID-19, we take classes virtually, especially the art class. That class has help me a lot, since I starting participating on it, I am able to cope with everything is going on and relieve my stress.

Thanks Aurora, Joana, Claudia and Maria. Thank you very much for thinking of us older adults.

Dia Bonito – Beautiful Day

 Ana Zavaleta

My name is Ana Zavaleta. I am from El Salvador. I am 24 years old. I began confinement on March 13, 2020. We had to stock up on food, water, medicine for 3 months.

I thank the Senior Center Mission Neighborhood Centers for the support they have given me with virtual classes that are giving us.

These are difficult times and I want all this to pass so that we can meet again and give my friends a hug.


Hilda Ibarra

My name is Hilda.  I am a participant at Mission Neighborhood Centers drawing class. During the COVID-19, pandemic virtual classes have been taking place and I had been fortunate enough to had been able to borrow a tablet and internet hotspot so I can participate in virtual classes. The center also provided me with materials for drawing and painting delivered to my home by a Staff member. Drawing class has brought me out of this mental exhaustion over the stay at home order. I am a wheelchair bound and got hurt during the pandemic so I spend most of my time in bed. After the first class, I got in a better mood and got more active. I feel liberated and capable of doing more again. I stepped out of the boundaries by using color pencil and started painting too. I am a beginner, by participate in this class and seen others art and knowledge inspired me to learn more. I have been researching and learning from internet as well. I had been able to try materials in a more freely approaching into learning and just go for it. I am originally from Mexico, opportunities to learn art are very limited specially if you do not have the funds to support the cost. I very thankful to the center for proving this huge opportunity especially during this worldwide crisis. This virtual class has not only proving me the opportunity to come out of isolation but also to improve my health. On the plus side, beside been able to participate in class I can also be part of a community again even from home. I look forward to hear and see what other members of the class have to share two times a week. Thank you very much to all the staff at the center for all your help, efforts and encouragement above your daily duties and for stepping out of the box during this stressful and difficult times. You had given hope to us even from distance.  We see some of you briefly during classes because you are so busy taking care of so many things and others so we can be able to get some peace at home. Mil gracias. May you receive more. Take care, Hilda I.


 Lorena Perez

My name is Lorena Perez. I am from Nicaragua. I am 66 years old. I have some diseases, which is why I am a person at high risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus, and that is why I have had to spend these months of prevention at home. Despite the above, I am happy to receive the art class with Santiago Gervasi, which is a great help to overcome confinement, because in addition to instructing me in the subject of art, I learn drawing and we had a lot of fun sharing with the other students. I thank Santiago for showing us videos of Latin American painters and from other parts such as Spain, France, USA, etc. The Mission Neighborhood Centers had great success in coordinating the virtual classes. Thank you very much for this great work on behalf of older adults like me


Tomás Lopez

My name Tomas Lopez, I am from Mexico. I am 67 years old. During this quarantine, sometimes I feel sad and desperate because I cannot see my colleagues at the center and attend classes. Now that I can attend virtual art classes with Santiago Gervasi, it gives me joy, and pleasure to see other people participating. I forget that I cannot go out because of COVID-19. The Art class helps me to relax; it is a therapy to me. I can relieve the stress I have for not being able to do the things I used to do before the pandemic. Thanks to this and the other virtual classes, they help me cope with the shelter in place order.


Carlos Perez

My name is Carlos Perez. I was born in Guatemala. I am 74 years old.

I want to share through this testimony how much these virtual art classes have helped me. I like how teacher Santiago Gervasi gives his classes, which on the other hand are the first art classes I ever received.

The unfortunate times that we have to live in have been more bearable because of the class, which I am grateful for and I hope they continue to teach it.


Blanca Marenco

My name is Blanca Marenco. I was born in Guatemala. I came to the United States almost 55 years ago. I have two children, a boy, a girl, and five grandchildren.

I have been enjoying taking the art classes with Santiago Gervasi.  They have help me to relax now that I have to be home because of the pandemic.

Las Ardillas Felices

Frank Grober

Peggy Wilson

Masks We Wear

Santiago Gervasi
Embudo – Funnel

Laguna Honda Hospital with Mark

Max Davidson

Mark Campbell

In addition to being a reknowned Fine Artist whose work is widely collected by individuals and museums, Mark also has been part of Art With Elders for 25 years. He currently serves as AWE Executive Director and also as Program Director of AWE at Laguna Honda Hospital.


Lytton Gardens with Sarah

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.”

Sarah Dwyer