Elderly artists show off talent



ROSWELL, Ga. – The men and women at the Roswell Senior Center on Warsaw Road may be elderly, but don’t think they aren’t worth visiting. They recently put on display their artistic talents for an art show in mid-July.

In a former church, the building has been repurposed for an activity center focusing on the elderly. Senior Center Manager Deidre Knotts said the center has about 40 regular guests who take part in day programs and activities as well as breakfast. They operate a large Meals on Wheels program out of the center, helping 55 seniors get daily meals.

“There is a real misconception about what [the elderly’s] needs are,” Knotts said. “A lot of these seniors are incredibly active and highly intelligent. This is where they come to get socialization and feel welcome and appreciated. They need that. They need love.”

Every morning, seniors come in to the building, with Knotts and her staff and volunteers ready to greet them and get them going for the day.

Part of the programming provided are art lessons.

Knotts and the senior center held an art show featuring the work of the seniors in a variety of formats – crochet, paint, collage, ceramics.

“Art in itself is something I have a very strong passion for. It’s good for your soul,” she said. “It gives them a sense of accomplishment and contribution. A feeling they have created something and people acknowledge their creativity.”

And there was certainly some creativity. Detailed paintings in acrylic and oil, collages with bits and scraps collected to show all manner of scenes, and ceramics painted in all colors adorned several table sin the center’s meeting hall.

Zulma Caldeiro said she has no training, just some of the art classes the Senior Center offers.

“I like to paint,” she said simply.

She has 11 pieces of art in the show, primarily paintings using oils and acrylic to show a variety of scenery.

Her friend, Oplean Craig has a penchant for collages. Using pieces of rugs, shells and straw, she created a seaside landscape.

“I enjoy working with collages,” Craig said. “You can take nothing and make something out of it. You can use anything around the house and make something. You are limited only by your imagination.”

Another collage fan is Carolyn Wike. She used mixed media to make a Mediterranean village, mixing painting the sea with the cutout houses.

She said she had not painted at all before she came to the senior center for lessons.

“Painting is peaceful and relaxing and a little creative,” she said.

The Roswell Senior Center is located at 1250 Warsaw Road, Roswell and operated by Senior Services North Fulton. They can be found online at www.ssnorthfulton.org.

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