Inner Artists Unleashed at the Rocky River Senior Center
So, you finally retired after decades of work and dedication to your job. Suddenly you have all kinds of time on your hands. Hmmm, but what to do with all that extra time? The answer is easy-- pursue an artistic hobby! Participating in the arts has been proven to boost your happiness and wellness, and it is a great way to stay active and involved with your community!
So what’s your artistic dream? No matter what your dream is, retirement is the perfect time to embark on an adventure. Clare Rochford has taken several art classes at the Rocky River Senior Center. She always wanted to take an art class, but they didn’t offer it at her school while she was growing up. Years went by and she forgot about her dream as she was busy raising her family. Once retired, she took a watercolor class and discovered that she loved it. She has been taking classes ever since. Clare describes, “When you are older, you don’t have the pressure of earning a grade. Instructors help you to do your own thing, they help you bring out what is on the inside. It’s enjoyable. Therapeutic even.”
Clare is spot-on with that description. Research reveals that “engaging in community-based arts programs has a significant positive impact” on the health of older adults. Gary Hanna, executive director of the National Center for Creative Aging says, “What we are finding is that older adults who participate in the arts, have better brain health. The brain, contrary to the popularly held belief, can continue to grow new cells just by being creatively engaged.”
Engaging in the arts allows a person to continue to learn and expand their social network, and to leave a legacy for their family and community. When asked how much time Clare devotes to her artwork these days, she responded by stating, “I’ve hired a housekeeper!”
Mary Sanders, a drawing student says she has no room for a studio, so drawing fulfills her creative needs. She enjoyed drawing when she was younger but took a 50 year hiatus. She loves the fact that drawing is a challenge that requires eye to hand coordination. Drawing now for three years, she praises the teachers at the Senior Center, stating that they are very motivating. Anyone can learn to draw.
Leo Lightner agrees with Mary. He has taken classes in pencil, charcoal, painting, colored pencil, acrylic, and oil. He enjoys pencil the most because you can erase! His instructor told him that everybody can draw, it’s just a matter of learning to see. Leo too, praises the instructors at the Senior Center. He started drawing at age 83! The teachers always have great suggestions and make learning fun and rewarding.
Senior Centers offer many artistic classes from drawing, creative clay, oil painting, watercolor, ceramics, music and theater. Check out the listings at the Rocky River Senior Center in The Quill or by stopping by the center located at 21014 Hilliard Blvd.
The public is invited to attend the 24th Annual Art Exhibit and Sale July 10-24th at the Rocky River Senior Center. Area artists 50 and older are invited to participate in this year’s exhibit. Call 331-1114 for details prior to June 10th. An opening day reception will be held from 2-4 on Friday July 10th. Come, meet the artists and view their work! An Ice Cream Making Contest will be held on Saturday between 9 and noon, with prizes awarded at 12:30. Ice Cream samples available for sampling for $2 afterwards with the proceeds to benefit the Senior Transportation Program. Free Alphonse Mucha Lecture at 11:00 am.
Deborah (Bock) Capstick has a B.A. in psychology and M.A. in counseling. For the last 13 years she has worked with seniors in North Olmsted, Bay Village and Rocky River. She is the Director of Senior Services for the city of Rocky River.
Deborah (Bock) Capstick has a B.A. in psychology and M.A. in counseling. She spent her early career working with children who were abused and neglected. For the last 13 years she has worked with seniors in North Olmsted, Bay Village and Rocky River. She is the Director of Senior Services for the city of Rocky River.