Clubs and Organizations
February 1, 2017
For 86-year-old Eleanor Loose, art is not just a hobby; it is a way of life. From the time Eleanor was a child, she loved all forms of art, she even studied art education at the University of Delaware and worked for the Delaware Art Center. When children entered the picture, she shared her love with them. Now, as a retiree living at Parkway Place, she still involves herself with the arts. She uses her abilities to volunteer for her church, Pines Presbyterian Church, by designing the stained glass windows in the sanctuary, painting scenes with acrylics for the choir room, as well as designing signs and other materials. Once a month, Eleanor also leads a painting class for her fellow residents, giving them the chance to explore the basics of painting. Eleanor is just an example of one Parkway Place resident who uses art to inspire others; there are also woodworkers, quilters, knitters and many others. These seniors will have their creations on display on Tuesday, January 31 for "Inspire Your Heart with Art Day," and encourage the public to attend their inspiring display with art of all kinds created exclusively by seniors. They will be on display from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 1321 Park Bayou Drive in Houston.
"I was approached by a resident who was nearly blind, but who wanted to learn how to paint from me," said Eleanor. "It was so inspiring to see her desire to create something. Word started spreading about our lesson, so I worked with the staff to create an art class one time a month to teach them the basics of painting. Right now we're practicing different aspects of pictures, like trees or skies, and eventually we'll put these skills together and create a painting."
Average attendance is between 15 to 18 residents, and Eleanor prepares for the class by prepping the materials and making sure the residents receive careful instruction. During the class, she encourages the seniors to spend time looking at things in the world differently and examine how things form in nature. In her own time, Eleanor often paints landscapes to give to friends to family.
"You paint what you see in the world and feel in your heart and see how fantastic this God-given world is. I think art is a wonderful way to make friends, especially for seniors, because you get to share your life and get to know the other people well. We are able to offer advice and help one another. There is always great emotion behind art, and in my opinion that is often what makes the best art," said Eleanor.
In addition to the monthly watercolor class, Parkway Place has other ways for residents around the community to be creative. There are craft classes, a woodworking shop and a group of assisted living residents who crochet. The senior living community hopes that by sharing how these seniors are using the wishes of their heart to inspire different kinds of art, that it will encourage people of all ages to do the same.
"Residents like Eleanor are what make Parkway Place such a special place to live and work. When a resident is truly passionate about something, we believe there are no limits to what they can accomplish," said Sunny Chatagnier, executive director of Parkway Place. "Inspire your Heart with Art Day is a testament to that, we hope that public will visit and be inspired to create their own art."