Lakes Region Senior Centers, LRPA Channel 25 and the Belknap Mill have been collaborating to provide Art To You workshops to their communities for over eight years. Leisure time and creativity have found a common ground through this venture promoting the visual arts as something that is fun to do and available to everyone. More information is available by calling Belknap Mill, artist in residence Larry Frates at 603-387-3687 or visiting www.larryfratescreates.com.
When senior citizens have leisure time and spend a portion of their days at local senior centers bringing an innovative program to them via cable station LRPA Channel 25 and actual visits by the Art to You program has been making a difference for over eight years in the Lakes Region. Designed and developed by Belknap Mill artist in residence Larry Frates, the idea has grown to include individuals from Alton, Laconia, Gilford, Gilmanton, Meredith, Moultonborough, Pittsfield, Barnstead, New Duham and Bristol.
The program includes individualized drawing, painting and printmaking workshops once a week that introduce the participants to a studio experience with a demonstration, creating time and a critique session both in the live classes and on television on a daily basis. Demonstrations are video taped for each senior center to be used all week for artists who miss the class or cannot view the class on the internet when it airs or is live streamed on Channel 25.
“It has been a wonderful experience that has brought more color into my life,” said Ann Shea of Alton, who has been a member of the group from the beginning.
Her friend Beth Lavasseur said, “These workshops have opened my eyes to a whole new world around me and given me a chance to meet some new and wonderful friends.”
"Bringing art to the people and making it fun is the goal of this idea,” added instructor Frates.
The classes bring people together and provide them with a simple skill that can be used to fill time in their lives with a positive activity. It offers a time to relax while creating an art piece to be proud of at the conclusion.
Pam Taylor of Pittsfield said, “Everything I do in class doesn’t always come out perfectly but that’s not why I do it. It’s about keeping my eyes open to the beauty around me and to keep trying to be more creative.”
Eileen Golden of Norwood, who travels to Alton and Laconia, finds the television and online classes important since she doesn’t make all of the classes because of distance and weather.
In the end it’s about seeing, trying new material, practicing new techniques and making new friends with a similar interest. These art friendships have opened a new world for some of these seniors and their experiences in the studio are giving them opportunities to challenge how they see their world and the confidence to put their ideas to paper or canvas for the whole world to see.
- Category: Local News
- Hits: 505