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 for display in online exhibitions.

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


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

Check out this beautiful selection of works by AWE artists in our Virtual Gallery Space!

View Catalog

Meet the Artists

Belmont Village Albany with Mei Mei Everson

Sarah Armstrong
“Wine Glass Study” and “Portrait”

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.”

Davis Senior Center with Virginia Jourdan

Peter Chan
Portrait Studies

I have been learning drawing and painting for about 20 months in the G. Davis Senior Center before the Pandemic came. This program has given us, the students, a great opportunity to understand Arts and it’s many implications. Everyone of our teaching instructors are indeed very successful and professional artist, thus, our extra keen in following. At present, my favorite is portrait drawings in black and white with pencils, but as time goes on, I will love to try my hand on acrylic and watercolor paintings. My ultimate goal is to do sketches and paintings in mixed media, which allows me more ways in expressing myself. My sincere thanks to the Center, our teachers and the program provided.

Mary Fleming
Portrait Study

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.

Classie Kendrick
Portrait Studies

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.

Shirley Swift
Portrait Study

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.

Friday Open Studios with Min Lee and Darcie O’Brien

Carol Martin
“Dutch Floral,” “Mandate 2020,” “Family of Birds”

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.

Lindsay Frisch
“Flower”

 
Paula Thompson
“Magritte’s Tomato”

 
Lytton Gardens with Sarah Dwyer

Louise Gibler
“Breakfast,” “Woman Reading,” “Barn”

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.”

Oak Center Towers with Insio Che

Kun Ken Ouyang
“Hoping,” “Graceful pond,” “Joyful Birds”

“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. Kun Ken loves to go to local beaches, the forest, and Yellowstone National park—all of which feed his love of nature. Kun Ken 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
“Butterflies”

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.

On Lok Peralta and On Lok Rose Center with Dmitry Grudsky

Vanita Shah
“Sailing on the Bay”

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.

Ashwin Sheth
Series #1-6

Rose Haw
“Mountain Lake”

 
The Reutlinger Community with Betty Rothaus

Marjorie Cohen
“Burst of Hopeful Growth”  Mixed Media 12” x 9”

Creating “Burst of Hopeful Growth” was a different experience because I used pastel over watercolor.The brightness of the pastel gives an extra vibrancy to the new growth covering the bushes. I also felt it was a more contemporary visualization- bringing me into “today”! At the same time, having lived in New England, this image brought me back to a time and place where many of my life’s challenges were developed. In this painting, I enjoyed working with the brightness of the color and light and presenting these images in a hopeful, cheerful way! Marjorie Cohen

Clarence Crew
“Bird on Ocean” 14” x 17” Graphite/Colored Pencil on Paper

Clarence Crew loves creating and teaching art! He taught art and mentored students at Livermore High School for 45 years, adults at Mt. Diablo Adult Education for 20 years, as well as offering art in Extension High School classes to troubled teens. At the same time, as a skilled and imaginative professional artist, he was sought after for his painting, sculpture and drawing, completing many satisfying commissions. In addition to this double career, he was an athlete and played All-American in baseball and basketball at St. Mary’s College. While he taught High School, he also coached the teams and was elected to the coaching Hall of Fame for the Tri-Valley. Clarence explains, “Sometimes I look at photographs and begin with a clear idea. I also love beginning(as in ‘Bird on Ocean’) abstractly and allow it to develop into some type of figure, plant, object, animal or place- anything in the world -from Don Quixote and windmills to clipper ships on distant seas, to elephants, lions, and magical sprouting plants!

Sidney Glickfeld
“Fire Suppression” Graphite/Watercolor on Paper 12”x18”

Sid Glickfeld’s realistic painting, “Fire Suppression,” came from his experience as a young adult volunteer working to put out fires. “I was a scoutmaster at this time in my life, and we worked together, digging trenches, on public properties where fire broke out. I remember after fighting a fire, we had to write a report . You never know for sure, but we were asking questions about how it started.”

Rita R. Goldman
“My Son, Steve” Graphite/Acrylic on Paper 13 1/8” x 16 1/4”

“This is my first attempt at portraiture! Steve, the oldest of my four children, was lost to us as a young adult. Painting him was a deeply emotional experience, allowing me to be in touch with my wild child. It was a challenging and rewarding experience…as with all of my paintings, I feel I have grown . I learned about the placement and relationships of facial features which I previously had not considered! This has opened up a whole new area of expertise as an artist.”

Evelyn Ostreicher
“Life in the Waters” Graphite/Watercolor on Paper 19″ x 24

In “Life in the Waters”, all of the thriving lifeforms are from different waters and locations! I wanted to show there is life underwater because when we look at the surface of the ocean it’s not obvious. These are just a few of the thousands of species that reside there! I took these images from different sources and combined them to show their contrasting beauty and fill the painting with surprises! In a painting, every detail counts…the color , the shapes, every curve. Doing this artwork, my eyes have opened up; and, I have learned even more about looking out and enjoying the beauty of the world! Evelyn Ostreicher

Gloria Ruth
“The Connected Earth” Wax-Oil Crayon over Rice Paper 13 1/2 x 11 1/2

The rhythmical lines in “The Connected Earth” were created by ‘rubbing’ over string glued onto a board. The linear pattern was originally vertical and came from rubbing over tree bark. I reinterpreted the pattern horizontally with color: when arid dessert was nourished by the sea to develop fertile land and build the mountains, then, the sky produced rain connecting all the earth! Gloria Ruth

Maher Salama
“God’s Creation: Heavenly Paradise” Mixed Media 17” x 14”

I enjoy the beauty of nature as provided by our Creator, Who fills human lives with love, peace and sincerity. The dots in my painting, “Gods Creation: Heavenly Paradise,” are like the energy pumped through our veins – designed by God. Every dot-and breath – gives us continued life. Love for all and peace on earth, God bless you all. Maher Salama

Christine Wasserbauer
“Hearts of Love” Graphite/Watercolor on Paper 14”x 20”

“I’ve been painting and talking since I was three! As the first grand-daughter and a 2nd generation American, I grew up in a large and creative Polish family who encouraged me as they restored a 100 year old house themselves. I watched my Mom paint, sew, sculpt, crochet and bake; my father studied journalism/writing( suddenly interrupted), transmitted messages for Western Union, became a tool and die maker and used his hands for creative projects at home. The shoe in “Hearts of Love” expresses my journey to health and the flowers were a gift from my beloved. Since I never painted orchids before, this was a challenge along with my relearning to walk.” Christine Wasserbauer

Saturday Open Studio with Darcie O’Brien

Melinda Allen
“Portrait Study 1,” “Portrait: Feline Friend”

Insio Che
“Waterlilies Mural”

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:  www.insioart.com. 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 mural for her family’s newly opened restaurant, “Chelsea’s Cuisine.”

John Collister
“Sunset Sky with Tree,” “Labyrinth”

Covid-19 has no side effects or symptoms that are desirable, sought after, or 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.

Patricia Garrett
“Blue Buddha,” “Autumn Landscape”

Shirley Keller
“Spirit Bear,” “The Spring View,” “Circles”

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.

Chelsea Lee
“Joy! Art Supplies”

Chelsea Lee is 8 years old.  This is her first time taking online class with her mother and she enjoys it very much.  Chelsea completed this piece, “Art Supplies” in May for the class theme: “Joy.”  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.”

Hugh Leeman
“Abstract in Black”

Living in the Caribbean at a young age amongst the beauty of the people, language and culture I thought I would live there the rest of my life. However after I started working at a Spanish tapas bar I began meeting people from all over the world whose stories set alight a passionate curiosity in me. These stories set me afoot on a multi year journey around the world, working any job that I could find along the way. Years later I arrived in San Francisco for what I thought would be a layover. I fell in love with the city and taught myself to paint. Nearly fifteen years later I’m still here, making art. In addition to painting I’ve collaborated on projects with the homeless in San Francisco and teamed up with a Bay Area non profit which brings water projects to the indigenous Aeta Tribe of the Philippines. I am fortunate to have shown my artworks at the deYoung Museum, the Museum of Mexico City and the Arlington Contemporary Art Center as well as having my artwork and projects published in The Outlaw Bible of American Art.

Fran Marcus
“Frida,” “Joy”

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.  

Larry McCown
“Flower,” Starburst,” French Curves”

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!”

Susan McCown
“My Studio Still Life,” “Bird of Paradise”

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!”

Pamela Osborne
“Water Landscape,” “Sunset Scene”

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
“Sky Fire,” “Golden Light”

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.

Mary Ann Taylor
“River View,” “World Cat”

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.

Paula Tschida
“Hydrangea,”  “Country Landscape”

 
Jim Turner
“Meghan”
 
Western Park Apartments with Mei Mei Everson

Chieko Lafferty
“Shadow Box,” “Mt. Fuji,” “Eggs in a Basket, “White Tree,” “Portrait”

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.”

 

Every Canvas is a Journey All It’s Own
The Landscape of the Imagination
September 15 – November 15, 2020
View Catalog

Check out this beautiful collection of landscapes by AWE artists in our new Virtual Gallery Space!

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

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/

Betty Rothaus
AWE Artist Instructor
https://www.bettyrothaus.com/
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…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. Being aware of who we are, where we are, in the present, we can fully live the precious moments of our lives. My mission is to remind us to be present – to our gifts and blessings – and to celebrate daily with joy and gratitude.
*Ani Tuzman

Dwight’s Vision


Margie Cohen

Color always appeals to me! this was an interesting and striking combination of color and surfaces to project that color. It takes a kind of strength to pull that out and all together! Painting this was a strong learning experience and the first time I had experienced and been inspired by aboriginal art.


“Dreaming of Rivers and Land Surfaces”
2020 17 5/8 x 12 Graphite/Acrylic on Paper


Bob DeMatteis

The colors underwater become a part of me when I paint them! With each painting, I grow and experience more; I see more and am working on improving my techniques.


”Underwater Growth” 
2019 12 x 9” Graphite/Acrylic/WC on Paper


Sidney Glickfeld

Sid’s passion extends to the sky and the forces of nature also—to the power of thunder and lightning. “I wonder,” he asks, “what the ancients thought of it,” and hypothesizes, “Maybe someday we’ll use the power of it for our own electricity.” 

Helen describes Sid as a “very kind and lovable person” with a great sense of humor, who is always helpful to other people.


“Slow Down and Smell the Flowers”
2019 10 3/4” x 14” Graphite/WC/Acrylic on Paper


Rita Goldman

I created this painting as a gift for our beloved captain, Jay Zimmer (CEO and President of the Reutlinger Community)who is leaving us after steering us safely through the storm. This is a view from the inside looking out and looking down on a patio near his office. Painting this, I learned to master what I thought were impossible challenges and grew as an artist. Each time, I am proud when I complete a project.


“Reutlinger: The Patio and Beyond “ 
2020 11” x 14” Graphite/Acrylic on Paper


Bess Meek

“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.”


“The Edge of Dreams“ 
2020 11”x15” WC on Paper


Evelyn Ostreicher

I received a postcard from a friend who visited the Aurora Borealis. I was so impressed with this vision that I had to paint it myself. I couldn’t believe that you could see such a beautiful sight in our world. The colors and my own state of being seem entirely different when you work with a nightime sky.


“Magical Wonders” 
2019 14 x 10 Graphite/WC on Paper


Gloria Ruth

The elegance of this vase intrigued and inspired me to preserve it. I thought of the flowers as blooms that had grown from the vase. I chose the colors in the background and the fabric to compliment the violet in the flowers and vase.

”Beautiful Blooms”
2020 10 1/2 x 14 Graphite/WC on Paper


Maher Salama

Beauty of Nature G-d created Heaven and Earth
Beauty of Paradise
Breeze of Ocean Beauty of Creation


”God’s Creation: Chain of Islands”
2020 17 x 14 Graphite/WC on Paper


Jill Starr

This is the countryside outside Strasbourg, France, where one day, we went mushroom hunting. We thought we were entering an isolated area, but when we looked around, heads kept rapidly popping up and down and we realized that many other hunters were there crouched down looking at the ground. There is a time limit you are allowed to be out in the field because the town protects their valuable resource.


“Mushroom Countryside”
2020 14”x11 Acrylic on Canvas Panel

Reutlinger Retro – Past Works

 

Marjorie Cohen
When Marjorie, known as Margie by her friends, first saw the work of AWE artists hanging in the halls of Reutlinger, she realized that maybe her art could be up there too. She began attending art class this spring and is happy to be succeeding now in the one subject—art–she had trouble with growing up. She enjoys doing landscapes, especially blue sky and water.

Born in Albany, New York in 1940, Margie was an only child who involved herself in the world of art and music–tap dancing, playing trumpet in an orchestra, marching band, and female dance band as well as singing in the chorus. A former middle school English teacher, she lived in various East Coast cities and her happiest memories revolve around raising her two sons. She now has three grandsons. Having lost her husband, Ira, after close to fifty years of marriage, Margie has found art to be “a nice completion, occupying my mind and my senses” in the process of grieving.

Margie has been an avid baseball fan of both minor and major league teams since the age of eight, and loves music, especially jazz. She believes in the importance of not taking yourself too seriously and describes herself as an inquisitive person. At this point, she says, “Art completes my experience.”

Layers

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

Joan Gill
Thanks to AWE, “Joan started becoming an artist at the age of 91,” says her son Tom. She’s living proof that it’s never too late.

Joan worked in New York, where she was born in 1926, as an interior decorator for one of the nation’s first big department stores, Lloyd and Taylor, but she devoted most of her life to care giving. She raised four children, cared for her mother and later for her husband in memory care. But she always made time to care for others too. When living in North Carolina, she delivered puzzles to people in nursing homes. As Tom points out, “She did things throughout her life that the world doesn’t celebrate.”

Joan and her husband, an IBM executive who travelled extensively, lived in Europe for a number of years and enjoyed golfing together. But her passion throughout her life was always flowers. She cared for a large rose garden, where she would sometimes appear in white heels, one of the many pairs of shoes she loved. Long-stemmed roses were her favorite, which became the subject of some of her earlier paintings.

You can find her three times a week in Reutlinger’s art room, expressing in her art what she may not be able to say in words. She likes it when “all the shapes are getting along.”


Circle Round

Sid Glickfeld
Ninety-five-year-old Sid Glickfeld was born in San Francisco. He and his British-born wife, Helen, met at a dance here, and have been married for 62 years. They had two daughters and one son, and now include their “grandcat,” Bagel, in their family. After retirement they enjoyed cruising and traveling together.

Sid, an avid stamp collector with an inquiring mind, taught math and history in high school and has a great passion for geology—all of which are reflected in his art. He started out painting geometric circles and rectangles and moved on to another fascination of his–the way rocks are structured. “I love to capture the intensity of colors in the mineral world,” he says, and enjoys trying different backgrounds in his paintings.

His passion extends to the sky and the forces of nature also—to the power of thunder and lightning. “I wonder,” he asks, “what the ancients thought of it,” and hypothesizes, “Maybe someday we’ll use the power of it for our own electricity.” 

Helen describes Sid as a “very kind and lovable person” with a great sense of humor, who is always helpful to other people.


Winds of Change

Rita R. Goldman
It’s easy to spot Rita in the halls of Reutlinger. Known as the “Flower Girl,” she’ll be wearing a colorful flower in her hair that matches her clothes and her personality. But her life hasn’t been as bright as she is.

Eighty-five-year-old Rita grew up in Washington D.C. in a family permeated by her Polish mother’s losses during the Holocaust. Her early hopes to become a counterculture artist were quickly dashed by a Corcoran Gallery art teacher, who told her she’d never be an artist. But she managed to write poems for the local Jewish paper, and eventually became a school psychologist, married and had four children. 

At the age of 49, Rita suffered a devastating stroke that left her wheelchair- bound, paralyzed on her right side and blind in one eye. Even after her stroke she finished a Ph.D., did volunteer work, including counseling and tutoring in the temple, and endured the tragic loss of her 33-year-old son, Shalom.

Now, painting with her left hand, the art program is “a shining light” for her. “I feel like my disability was an opportunity to do good deeds and learn,” she says.


Portrait of New Zealand

Doris Langer
The daughter of Russian immigrants, 92-year old Doris Langer was born in Brooklyn on Christmas Day. She still has fond memories of walking to the top of the Statue of Liberty with her father.

She and her future husband Irwin met at a high school party. After he returned from the war, they lived in Virginia while he attended college and eventually settled in Los Angeles. There they raised their two daughters and Doris worked in furniture design centers and showrooms. Doris, who now has 3 grandsons, believes “education is the key.” She’s proud that her daughters completed their studies at UC Berkeley and UC Santa Barbara to become a school principal and a nurse.

The key to a long life, says Doris, is “good living, exercise, and eating right,” though she confesses, with a mischievous smile, that she periodically enjoys a salami sandwich.  “I’m a hat person,” declares this elder with a definite eye for fashion and color, and “I believe in doing.”

Doris only began doing her own art after the death of her husband. Her art today reflects colors, shapes and designs that form a relationship with an interior space. She began her butterfly series after seeing photographs of butterfly wings under a microscope. It “inspired me to fly,” she says.


How Wondrous is a Butterfly Wing

Bess Meek
“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.”


Mystifying Walk in Central Park

Evelyn Ostreicher
Evelyn’s room is full of memories—family photos, a certificate honoring her volunteer services from the Ohio House of Representatives and another from Ronald Reagan, and even the wooden cane of her mother, who died in her arms years ago. Her memories and her art seem to sustain her. And despite living over 50 years with multiple sclerosis, she says, “I’m grateful I still have my mind.”

Born in Canada in 1930, Evelyn grew up with her brother in Loraine, Ohio. She met her husband, Ernie, there thanks to the efforts of her matchmaker father and his aunt, and three or four dates later, they got engaged over the phone.

Evelyn and Ernie worked together in Ernie’s jewelry business and raised three daughters, Helen, Isabelle, and Sharon. In her free time, she loved volunteering, and has fond memories of the kosher cookies she took for “cookie time” at a home for the aged.

Evelyn never thought she could do art until she met Betty Rothaus, who has now become her favorite teacher of all time. She especially enjoys making interesting visual combinations of different nature scenes, like the winter clouds in Hawaii with the summer trees of Yosemite. “I look forward to coming to art class to explore myself and continue learning,” she says.


Life Flourishing in Alaskan Waters

Maher Salama
“God bless America, the land that I love” says this 86-year-old Egyptian, who came to the U.S. in 1970. Maher studied English in high school and graduated in business management from the American University, where his father was a professor. Before coming to the U.S., he worked in an accounting company, and was an avid swimmer and member of the Greek rowing club.

With a kind smile, his gentle blue eyes light up when he describes the months of dancing and dining that led to marrying his wife of 55 years, Therese. Maher found a job (and a passion for chess) at Bank of America two days after his arrival here, where he worked until his early retirement. He still feels most “accomplished” when helping the needy. The couple has a son and daughter and three grandchildren.

A lover of classical music, especially the work of Chopin and Tchaikovsky, Maher  enjoyed playing the piano. “As I love music, I love paint,” he says now, after his introduction at Reutlinger to making art. And despite vision and shoulder problems, he revels in learning “how to paint beauty and how to expose it to other people—especially so the blind can see.”


The Dawn and the Moon

Resilient!
An online exhibit featuring works by our current program participants
July 15 – September 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. $15 suggested donation for individuals requested, but not required, first class is free. Group rates and full scholarship available. See our Online Classes page for more information. Please email our Director, Mark Campbell, for details and signup, mark@artwithelders.org.

For this exhibit, “Resilient!,” we have included one piece from each artist participating in our online program who chose to submit entries. The group represents 85 artists across the Bay Area from Vallejo to San Jose.

We are also currently exhibiting a small but powerful collection of works called “Pandemic Response Art” featuring works by artists from our Vallejo Hills and Friends class.
Enjoy!

Resilient!

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

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.  

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, sought after, or 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.  www.insioart.com

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
AWE Artist Instructor
and Exhibits Manager

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, now I just 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.  www.insioart.com. 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 connected 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
AWE Artist Instructor

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 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.”

Anita Arora

Field of Flowers

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.

Mountains

Dmitry Grudsky
AWE Artist Instructor

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

Li Bang Chen

Pei Wan 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.

Zhi Wen Luo

Born in Guangzhou, Canton province in 1930, Zhiwen came from a traditional Chinese family that emphasized the importance of doing one’s best and being humble and quiet. Zhiwen married and raised her children (one son and two daughters) while working full-time in a chemical factory. She and her husband came to the U.S. over twenty years ago to be with a daughter and three grandchildren who live in South San Francisco. Doing calligraphy is like practicing music, she says—it demands perfection and patience. She continues striving for perfection in her art, working at home outside of art class, and advises: “Be serious in anything you do.”

Sandy Fong

Born in China, Sandy came to the U.S. in 1969 and has three children as well as a granddaughter. Her happiest moments in life were the births of her children and grandchild. Her family, including her granddaughter, appreciates and encourages Sandy’s new interest in art, something she never thought she would be doing. Her main medium is watercolor. Her teacher points out that all Sandy’s art has the feel of a Chinese brush painting, with its harmonizing colors. Her art, she says, reflects her calm personality.

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.


Casa de Esperanza in the City of Mexico

Concepcion Calantoc

Chen Ying Shao

Min Lee
AWE Artist Instructor

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.
Amen.

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
AWE Artist Instructor

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…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. Being aware of who we are, where we are, in the present, we can fully live the precious moments of our lives. My mission is to remind us to be present – to our gifts and blessings – and to celebrate daily with joy and gratitude.
*Ani Tuzman

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.


Bubbles

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.

Owl

Blanca Lorena Pérez

My name is Lorena Pérez. 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.


Cats

Tomás Lopez

My name Tomás 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.


Huerta

Carlos Pérez

My name is Carlos Pérez. 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.


Cosas

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

Bonnie Perez

My name is Bonnie M. Perez. I was born in El Salvador. I am 73 years old.   I am writing these words to express how much the virtual art classes have help me and continue to help me. Taught by teacher Santiago Gervasi in this time of quarantine by the Corona Virus. I hope that these classes continue to keep me active and to keep my mind working during my golden years.

 

Abstracto – Abstract

Frank Grober

Peggy Wilson


Masks We Wear

Santiago Gervasi
AWE Artist Instructor

Santiago Gervasi was born in Lima, Perú. He moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in the early 80s, where he has been residing ever since. Gervasi received a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and an MFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts. Gervasi has shown his work extensively both nationally and internationally. The galleries that have represented his work include Olga Dollar (S.F., CA) SFMOMA Artists Gallery (S.F. CA), Cervini-Haas Gallery (Scottsdale, AZ) and Bay Area Visual Arts Network (Oakland, CA). His work has been reviewed in Art Week magazine, and has been featured in the TV show “Latin Eyes.”


Embudo – Funnel

Laguna Honda Hospital with Mark

Max Davidson

I’ve been an artist in one way or another for as long as I remember. I try everything in terms of media. I have worked a lot in gouache as a designer, but now I’m interested in exploring new and different techniques. I was actually surprised to discover how much the program has fundamentally reinvigorated and sustained my quality of life. Those conducting the classes are not just art instructors, but in a way, creative guides, encouraging students to think and not be told how to express themselves. The program also offers opportunities to support fellow students and facilitates constructive exchanges of creative insights and encouragement. Expression through art is a great leveler. Everyone’s work has real merit. The possibility of great art is as likely here in these small classes as in the most rarified circles. It’s a great honor to be included in the show.

Mark Campbell
AWE Executive Director and Artist Instructor

In addition to being a renowned 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.


Monk

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
AWE Artist Instructor

The Carlisle with Yvette

Anne Swinehart

Professionally, I was a caseworker. I spent many years at the National Council Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. Later, during my move and marriage, I became an enthusiastic third grade teacher, loving the busy pace of the classroom and achieving some recognition for excellence. I’ve never painted before these past six months. I have done pencil and pen sketches, mostly of people. Now I seem to prefer to work with acrylic, but want to experiment with watercolors sometime in the future. I like to use images that appeal to me, but I don’t usually strive to copy them. I use those images to fire my imagination.  I will be 95 years old soon and feel blessed to learn new things, including painting!

Aurora Spikol

Aurora started taking art classes in the evening when she was still working. She was an active member of the Art Society at the World Bank (where she worked in Washington, D.C.) which held annual art exhibits and she had continued to participate even after her retirement. She had participated annually at the Glen Echo Park Labor Day Exhibits in Maryland, and also with other local community centers while residing in D.C. When she moved to San Francisco in 2011, Aurora took classes in Drawing and Watercolor painting for two years at the Sharon Art Studio at the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. She uses the different media although she prefers oil and watercolor. “I’m enjoying painting very much. I never knew that art painting would be part of my life. The more I paint, the more I discover myself. I am always challenged but at the end, I feel happy to see my work.”


Tranquility

Deborah Solomon

“I like paintings landscapes, fishes, things under the sea, in the air. Wherever I want to go, I go”, says Deborah Solomon, affectionately known as Debs. Born in New York City in 1954, Debs survived a traumatic head injury when she was 11. During a long and difficult rehabilitation to relearn how to speak, New York’s renowned museums became a surrogate for school, which led to a lasting love of art. In 1982, Debs began studying painting at the National Academy of Arts in Manhattan. “You’ll always see what you’re doing if you go on and paint naturally, don’t hold back. Your hand knows more than you do. I might think my hand and my mind don’t agree. Well, we do agree!” she laughs. Debs was the longest-serving volunteer at the Central Park Conservancy, where she weeded and pruned for 25 years until she and her father moved to San Francisco eleven years ago. As an adult, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. “I was sad, I thought I couldn’t do it, but then I thought, ‘I will do it again,’ and slowly and surely I did. Always think of hope and go on.”


Mountains and Sheep

Leatrice Weiss

 I went to the High School of Music & Art, now called La Guardia High School. I was an art major there, where I also became the theater editor of the school paper. I have always had a fondness for theater (probably developing this fondness from my mother who enjoyed performing as well); my earliest memory of performing on stage was at three years old. I have always been a creative person, enjoying art, music and theater very much. As a camper and camp counselor during my teenage years, I wrote several musicals – and acted in them – continuing my love for theater performance as an adult in Paramus, New Jersey. Throughout my adulthood, I have painted more as a hobby. As an adult I also wrote several children’s books for which my daughter did the illustrations. I usually like working with any acrylic or watercolor but find that acrylic tend to be more forgiving.


Road Trip

Robert Nelson

I first started painting as a young adult while recovering from a serious illness. I worked primarily in oils, painting landscapes I found in National Geographic magazine. However, after a short time, I learned that oil paints and a houseful of young children were not compatible, and I put it aside for many years. When my wife and I retired we moved to Marco Island, Florida, where I became interested in painting again and took a series of excellent watercolor classes at the Marco Island Art League. I also joined a Plein Air group which met weekly at pre-determined sites. Once a month we held instructive critiques of each others work, which helped me develop my technique and I was encouraged to enter my paintings in juried art shows where I had some success. Lately, I’ve become interested in oils again and have been teaching myself how to work in this medium.


Restless Sea

Jayne
Ross-Matsuda

Sure that she was destined for a more-than-average life, Jayne Ross-Matsuda fled her childhood base in New Jersey for New York City as soon as she could. Her father was willing to pay only for post-high school courses that would provide “practical skills”. At a local business college she became acquainted with the PBX switchboard system, and soon after found a job in New York City, utilizing that skill. Working for a Manhattan-based tin broker infused Jayne with a fascination for business which ultimately landed her in upper management at CBS. Following retirement, Jayne took acting classes which opened another career. She has performed off Broadway, in regional theatre, has had a number of commercials in her acting portfolio and has worked in radio drama, television and film, appearing in several episodes of Law & Order. By her own admission, Jayne has had a long-time but erratic interest in the visual arts. It has only been at The Carlisle, in the Art With Elders class, that she has found teachers who can instill the discipline required to learn the skills that result in a deeply satisfying art practice.

Mary’s Tiger

Yvette Brown
AWE Artist Instructor

“My work is about the deep psychological and physical responses people have to motion. I create images that tap into the rich vein that lies between our dreams of flying and our nightmares of falling out of control.” My paintings hover somewhere along the invisible line of tension between awkwardness and grace. I strive to capture the frozen moment in which balance is either lost or regained. I tend to avoid faces because they give too much away. I want to leave more for the viewer to interpret. Is a figure filled with the elation of soaring? Or is there a violence bubbling just beneath the veneer of beauty? What are those secrets behind the beauty? It all depends on what we bring of ourselves to the viewing.


Logan

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