EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

November 6, 2013

Pelham's seniors explore their artistic talents

Pelham seniors work with local artist

PELHAM — In small brush strokes and patient tones, Salem artist Danny Dancer is opening the world of art to Pelham seniors.

“The Art of Growth” is a cooperative class of Pelham Public Library and the Pelham Senior Center, aimed at letting seniors express their creativity.

Adult services librarian Annie Seiler said the program is designed to give seniors a well-rounded, lifelong learning experience.

“They have been very responsive and very involved,” she said. “They are having fun and learning a lot.”

Students meet for an hour each week at the library where Dancer will talk to them about famous artists, great art and artistic styles.

This week, they discussed the recovery in Germany of an estimated $1 billion in art seized by the Nazis during World War II.

The creativity comes during their two-hour workshop at the senior center, where they are putting into practice what they learn.

“Most of them want to get into the basics, the fundamentals, and learn about perspective, proportion, light and shadows,” Dancer said. “We try to cover the various interests.”

JoAnn Verdina, 71, signed up when her husband, Philip, encouraged her to pursue her artistic passion through the class.

“I just like to doodle all the time,” Verdina said.

She thought she would see what she could learn.

“I’m really learning things,” she said. “I really have progressed.”

She characterizes some of her drawings as too flat before coming to class.

She showed off a new work in one of her sketchbooks, a lighthouse landscape.

“Now my sketches have depth,” Verdina said. “I look out the window now and see where the light source is coming from and how shadows fall off an object.”

The class is a small group, with usually a half-dozen seniors attending.

Verdina and classmate Gloria Loureiro, 58, had Dancer to themselves yesterday.

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