It happened more than 30 years ago, but it’s something that has impacted Alden resident Linda Skinner every day since.
“I was with my daughter and a friend, putting things in a pickup, when the topper blew up and hit me in the head, causing a concussion and damaging both of my eyes. It took doctors a while to figure out what was going on with my eyes. Eventually, they sent me up to the junior college to see if some art therapy might help strengthen my eyes. I had extreme eye fatigue, within a few seconds, rather than in a few minutes. And my eyes were switching dominance, causing dizziness and difficulty doing daily tasks. So I took drawing and painting classes, and noticed that when I wasn’t doing them regularly, my eyes would get worse. Through this process, we also discovered that I’m partially color blind, so I took color therapy classes, too,” said Linda. Read More
Aberdeen Village recently hosted a reception for the winning artists in the annual Art is Ageless juried competition.
“We are honored to exhibit artwork by seniors,” said Christina Ammann, marketing director. “Art is Ageless is unique in featuring only the works of artists age 65 and older. Our artists prove that art, in any form, is an ageless ambition.”
Winners in the Aberdeen Village Art is Ageless juried competition were: Read More
Aberdeen Heights recently hosted a reception for the winning artists in the annual Art is Ageless juried competition.
- 1st Place - Jean von Stamwitz, “Misty Morning”
- 2nd Place (Tie) - Lee Schmeltzle, “POW”; Toni McCoy, “Scents in the New Snow”
- 1st Place - Ruth Koch, “Looking at Grandma’s Paintings”
- 2nd Place - Jean Lechner, “Joy” (Painting transferred to blanket)
Fort Scott Presbyterian Village recently hosted a reception for the winning artists in the annual Art is Ageless® juried competition.
“We are honored to exhibit artwork by seniors,” said Ginger Nance, executive director. “Art is Ageless is unique in featuring only the works of artists age 65 and older. Our artists prove that art, in any form, is an ageless ambition.”
Winners in the Fort Scott Presbyterian Village Art is Ageless juried competition were: Read More
WICHITA, Kan. –Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America has announced the winners of its annual, system-wide Art is Ageless® competition. The works of more than 50 senior artists from Kansas and Missouri will be featured in the 2018 Art is Ageless calendar and note cards.
Art is Ageless, open exclusively to people age 65 and older, is a copyrighted program of Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America. For the competition, works must have been completed in the past five years. Artists not interested in competition were invited to enter the Art is Ageless exhibit only. Read More
Family ties are found throughout Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor. That was evident in this year's Art is Ageless competition when two of the top prizes went to quilters with granddaughters on our staff: Elsie Tipton and Gerry Matney.
Elsie Tipton & Cammy Boone
Elsie's Arkansas City home was always the family nerve center. She lives in town; most of them are in the country. Everyone is naturally drawn to Grandma's.
Since Elsie moved to Presbyterian Manor in March, not much has changed. Elsie's granddaughter, Health Services Director Cammy Boone, recently came up to visit and found her own mother dozing on the couch. Cammy's teenage children come over after school and send their mom text messages that they're upstairs at Grandma's. Read More
It’s well known that making quilts takes a lot of patience and practice, but it may not be as well known that for many, it’s far more than just an artistic pastime. For Clay Center resident Verna Lee Musselman, it’s a way of life.
One of her quilts, “Evening Star,” is featured in the Presbyterian Manors of Mid America’s Art is Ageless 2017 calendar, a high honor.
“I’ve been quilting since 1987, when my son was a senior in high school. I wanted to make him a quilt to take to college. So I did.” Read More
Not everyone who enters Parsons Presbyterian Manor’s Art is Ageless competition has been interested in art their entire lives. Some don't take up an interest until after their children are grown, or until retirement. This is not the case with Parsons resident Janice Miller.
“I’ve always loved art and design. Right out of high school, I took art classes at the junior college. I’ve taken classes on and off through the years, most recently a watercolor class taught by Joan Allen at Labette Community College, and also a jewelry class. I love it all,” said Janice.
Janice’s interest in art extends beyond a hobby, however. She’s an interior decorator by trade and sells window coverings from her home.
“I’m also pretty handy with a sewing machine.” Read More
The Art is Ageless competition and exhibit is a spring tradition here at Emporia Presbyterian Manor. But we celebrate artists in our region all year long.
Every month, our Featured Artist program gives one local artist a showcase for his or her work on our campus. The art remains on display all month. During that time, we also host a reception with the featured artist so that our residents and the local community can visit with them about their work. We also get to enjoy wonderful refreshments from our own dining services department! Read More
If you have been past Norma "Jeanie" Gegg's room recently at Farmington Presbyterian Manor, you may have been treated to an impromptu art exhibit right there in the hall.
Jeanie's son, Tim Gegg, told us his mother has picked up her paintbrushes again recently after a bit of a hiatus. She wasn't completely satisfied with some of the pictures she made, so she set them out, free for the taking.
Tim, however, said they looked as good as ever to him. His own home is a Jeanie Gegg gallery of sorts, with more than a dozen of his mother's paintings on display.
"I think it gives her great joy when she does it," Tim said. "She's given away a lot of it. There is a lot of her work around the town." Read More
Artists don’t retire – they get better
Lawrence artist Jewell Willhite didn't have the opportunity to take art classes growing up. They weren't offered in her high school or at Iowa State College. Instead, she got her degree in "applied art," a course of study in the home economics department.
Jewell learned about design and illustration as it applied to homemaking -- think sewing and décor. But she also found a way to try painting for the first time. Many years later, once her children were grown, Jewell became a prolific painter, creating a couple dozen pictures a year.
Nancy Wiechman and her husband, Bob, were driving to their son's house just before construction began on the new Wichita Presbyterian Manor nearby. The route also takes them past the former home of Bob's sister and her husband.
On this trip, the Wiechmans discovered the old house had been demolished to make way for the new buildings. Part of the old metal shed was still standing – barely – and there was a pile of scrap wood. Nancy took a piece of wood she liked, then came back later to salvage some of the tin from the shed. "I didn't have a bag or anything. I just took a few pieces," she said. "I knew I could do something with it."
After spending nearly his entire career working for the Soil Conservation Service, it’s no wonder resident Harland Dietz developed a love for the outdoors. What’s surprising, even to him sometimes, is his relatively newfound desire to paint the scenes he so admires from nature.
“I don’t consider myself an artist. I paint for therapy mostly, and I’ve never taken a class. One day I just started painting things that are interesting to me. I’m particularly fond of the prairie. We lived in a lot of different states over the years, and we decided one day we’d buy a painting that represented every state we lived in. We could easily find mountain-scapes and seascapes, but no prairie images. So I said, ‘Well by gosh I’m just going to paint one.”
Barbara Ford was a serviceman's wife, living in Germany, when she first tried her hand at the lacemaking art of tatting. The older German woman teaching her didn't know English, and Barbara didn't know German. But somehow they communicated enough for Barbara to pick up the intricate skills.
"It took a long time. I had a lot of accidents with making knots instead of lace," Barbara said.
That was about 50 years ago. Despite the difficult, often slow-going work, Barbara was hooked, and she's been tatting ever since. This year, she entered a tatted baby cap for the first time in Rolla Presbyterian Manor's Art is Ageless competition. The cap won the needlework category locally, and it was recently selected to appear in the 2017 Art is Ageless calendar.
One teacher plus one student equals two Art is Ageless® winners
When Wanda Webb entered her painting, "Teacher's Apple," in the Art is Ageless® competition at Farmington Presbyterian Manor, she had a specific teacher in mind. Wanda has been taking classes with local artist Vada Galvan for about 10 years.
Wanda dedicated her entry with the sentence, "The best apple goes to Vada." Now, both Wanda and Vada are celebrating. Both women will have pieces in the 2017 Art is Ageless calendar. After winning at the local level, both artists went on to win at the masterpiece level, where they competed with works entered at 16 other Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America communities.
When Jean Stockton needs inspiration for her art, she just steps outside.
Jean lives on a few wooded acres near Arkansas City. She's always on the lookout for unique patterns of light on the trees and rocks, and she walks the woods taking photographs that often inspire her paintings.
"Early in the morning and the evening is a wonderful time to take photographs of the light. Colors begin to really show their beauty at that time of the day," Jean said.
This year, Jean entered her oil painting "Woods in Winter Light" in the Art is Ageless® juried competition at Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor. She won first prize in the painting category, and now the piece has been chosen to appear in the 2017 Art is Ageless calendar.
A bowl of fruit just won't do for longtime painter Juanita Rapp Wyman. Her artwork represents her life experiences exclusively.
"Everything I do is personal, from my own photos. The subject matter seems to come to life more when you have a connection with it," Juanita said.
Juanita created "Farmer and his Vintage Combine" from a picture of her husband's cousin in southeast Missouri demonstrating a machine from his collection of old farm equipment. The painting won Best in Show, professional division, at the masterpiece level of this year's Art is Ageless® competition after winning in the Farmington Presbyterian Manor competition and will be featured in the 2017 Art is Ageless calendar.
"I am totally excited. It's always nice to be recognized," Juanita said.
Lee Schmelzle has been happily married to her husband Dick for 66 years, but she’s had a love affair that’s lasted even longer: art. Her drawing, titled “Johnny,” recently won Amateur Best in Show in Presbyterian Manors of Mid America’s masterpiece level Art is Ageless® juried competition. Her work will also be featured in the upcoming Art is Ageless Calendar.
“I really started drawing and painting when I was a real little girl. I always enjoyed it. In fact, my mother told me I started drawing before I even started walking!” said Lee. “After high school, I went to the Washington University School of Fine Arts. Then when I got pregnant with our first, I left school. We had four children in a short amount of time, so that kept me very busy. I eventually went back to school though, and even took classes from Fontbonne University. My main teacher was famed portrait artist Tito Gay. She is quite an artist, and I owe her a lot of gratitude for the wonderful start she gave me. She said I had quite a talent, so I believed her.”
Gary Stahl was stumped about what to paint next after last year's Art is Ageless reception. Life enrichment director Amy Watson had a suggestion: why not paint the new entrance to Wichita Presbyterian Manor?
Gary did. At this year's exhibit, he took the Best in Show ribbon for his oil painting, "Our New Home."
"It was a surprise to me," said Gary, a west Wichita resident. "The competition was so stiff, I thought I'd be lucky to get anything." Read More
Ever since she became eligible a decade ago at age 65, June Yoder has been entering artwork in the annual Art is Ageless® competition at Farmington Presbyterian Manor.
She's made quilts and crocheted afghans, sculpted a birdbath and taken photographs. This year's entry, however, had a more personal meaning to June and her husband, Ed, who live in Bonne Terre. Read More
In college, Dr. Gene Marsh read "The Agony and the Ecstasy," a biographical novel of the master artist Michelangelo. In the book, he discovered that Michelangelo and other Renaissance artists would dissect animals to learn their anatomy, and thus become better at drawing and painting their forms.
He thought this was a pretty good idea.
"I thought, well, I'll give med school a try. And even if I don't like it I'll have had anatomy, at least," said Dr. Marsh, a Halstead resident.
He went on to get his medical degree at the University of Kansas and became a surgeon. However, about a decade later, Dr. Marsh took a detour. He left surgery to earn a bachelor of fine arts degree at Wichita State University, and he took some master's level courses as well. Read More
Irene Hastings taught herself to knit and crochet many years ago. Now she's teaching others.
Her latest student is Activity Director Lisa Montoya of Manor of the Plains.
"She is teaching me how to make dish scrubbers," Lisa said. "She made one and gave it to me. I asked her, how did you make that?"
The round scrubbers are about 4 inches wide. They are crocheted from nylon netting, so they're easy to rinse and reuse. Irene also showed Lisa how to make crocheted dishrags.
Lisa said she already had yarn for the residents to use, so it was easy to get started learning the basics of crochet.
Irene said she actually prefers knitting, but it's easy to crochet small things to give as gifts. A year ago, Irene's knitting skills earned her second place in the annual Art is Ageless competition. She entered a brilliant red prayer shawl that she knitted with her church group. Read More
"I was teaching at a small high school, and you have to teach everything, so I started practicing painting when we got to that part," Lois said.
That was 40 years ago. Now, Lois paints because she wants to. What started as a job requirement has become a fulfilling artistic pursuit.
Lois, an Emporia resident, has entered the annual Art is Ageless competition and exhibit many times at Emporia Presbyterian Manor. One of her paintings was featured in the calendar about 10 years ago, and another was made into notecards.
Watercolor is her favorite medium, and barns are her specialty. Read More
Louise Feldt has been sewing all her life. However, over the past year she seemed to spend more time in the hospital and rehab than at her sewing machine. After having a knee replacement last summer, she fractured first one hip, then the other.
But by the end of the year, Louise was quilting again.
"It's something I can do," she said. "I have good hands, and I can do it by myself."
Louise has gotten a hand from her friend Nola Vice ("the best one I have," Louise says), who held on to some of her unfinished projects when Louise moved to Manor of the Plains last year. Both ladies are longtime members of Miss Kitty's Quilt Guild. Read More
Julia Stanley hadn't held a paintbrush in 25 years when her mother asked Julia to paint a picture for her. So, when her mother went out of town, she sat down once again with her oil paints and created an autumn scene of geese taking to the sky over a river. She named it "Morning Flight."
Her mother loved it. But she wanted something more. She had seen calls for entries in competitions, including Art is Ageless® at Salina Presbyterian Manor.
"She said, you need to enter that painting," Julia said. "I said, 'Oh, mom, a lot of other people paint better than I do.'"
That was in 2012. Julia's mother passed away two years later. Shortly after, Julia's friend and fellow painter, Dixie Lee Haddock, also urged her to enter the painting in Art is Ageless. This time she agreed. "Morning Flight" went on to win at the systemwide level for Art is Ageless last fall and will appear on this year's Presbyterian Manor notecards. (Haddock also had two winning entries that are being made into cards.) Read More
If you only knew Pat Ringle from her background, you’d be shocked to learn she was recently named as one of the top artists in the Art is Ageless® competition, a juried art show for those 65 and older, hosted by Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America (PMMA). Her watercolor of Emmett Kelly, “The Tramp,” will appear in the 2016 Art is Ageless calendar, which is distributed across PMMA communities in Kansas and Missouri.
As it turns out, Pat was shocked as well.
“You could have knocked me over with a feather. I was so shocked. It’s the first time I’ve done anything like this. I was thrilled to death when I first found out I got a blue ribbon. And then come to find out I was going to be in the calendar! In the first month, January! It just escalated. My, gosh, I was happy with a little ribbon! But this? I was thrilled beyond belief! It was mind blowing,” said Pat. Read More
When Dixie Lee Haddock was a little girl, her family joked that she would paint anything that stood still.
As a child in Niles, Kan., she painted snowmen and poinsettias on the windows of her parents' farm equipment store every Christmas. And the Easter lily she painted on the church window stayed until the church was torn down.
After her three children were grown, Dixie Lee returned to painting -- this time on canvas. This year, two of her paintings were chosen to be reproduced as greeting cards in Presbyterian Manors' systemwide Art is Ageless® competition.
"I just think it's a good thing for older people to do. People need to keep busy," Dixie Lee said. "Some people will say, 'I don't know how to do that.' Well, I say, just try."
Dixie Lee won for her paintings "Pretty Poppies" and "Santa is Watching You." Flowers are her favorite subject, she said, because they're not too difficult. She also painted portraits of all her children and grandchildren, and she recently completed one of her 1-year-old great-granddaughter. Read More
When Mary Ann Tanking used to visit her mother in Colorado, she would accompany her to quilt guild meetings on Mondays. The group would spend the morning hand-stitching, and then Tanking's mother would send her to get lunch for everyone. Tanking suspected something was going on while she was away.
"She would remove the stitches I put in in the morning," Tanking said. "I didn't find out until her funeral, when one of her friends told me."
Tanking's quilting skills have come a long way since then. Her quilt "Green Tea Jelly Roll Surprise With Leftovers" is one of four winning pieces from Salina artists in this year's system-wide Art is Ageless® competition. Winners were chosen from the top local entries at all 18 Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America communities. Tanking's piece will be featured in the 2016 Art is Ageless calendar, along with the works of more than 50 artists age 65 and older throughout Kansas and Missouri. Read More
Sophia deLaat taught art to California schoolchildren for 25 years, but she only recently discovered the art of gourdwork. Now, she's having a banner year as a gourd artist.
Two of DeLaat's works are winners in the Art is Ageless® system-wide competition. "Halleluia Angel" took honors in the mixed media/crafts category, and her "You Are My Sunshine Music Box" won in the sculpture/3-D category. Winners were chosen from the top local entries at all 18 Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America communities. Both of deLaat's pieces will be featured in the 2016 Art is Ageless calendar, along with the works of more than 50 artists age 65 and older throughout Kansas and Missouri.
This was the first year deLaat has entered Art is Ageless. She has also been recognized as Missouri Gourd Artist of the Year for 2015-2016 by the Show-Me Gourd society, of which she is a member. In the gourd work tradition, all of the materials in the piece must be natural, not synthetic. So, many are carved, painted, and even burned to create designs in the shell. Read More
Not many people could take a bundle of copper wire and pistachio shells and turn them into a work of art.
Richard Long of Dodge City has been building crowd-pleasing scenes out of these household materials for more than three years. It all started when he was eating some pistachios and realized the two rounded halves of the shell looked like insect wings.
"I started making butterflies on sticks, to go in plants," Long said. "I made angels and little white doves, little bees. That went pretty good, so I started selling them at craft shows." Read More
In 50 years of practicing dentistry, Richard Bennett carved a lot of crowns and bridgework. Since he retired, Richard has discovered his skills translated well to sculpting raw stone into art.
His stone carving "Out to Pasture" is a winner in this year's system-wide Art is Ageless® competition. Winners were chosen from the top local entries at all 18 Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America communities. Richard's piece will be featured in the 2016 Art is Ageless calendar, along with the works of more than 50 artists age 65 and older throughout Kansas and Missouri.
Bennett found the block of limestone, roughly 12 by 8 inches, on his farm in the Flint Hills. Read More
When Wilda Buffo was a child, she used to sit and watch her grandmother quilt by hand. Every grandchild received a quilt for his or her high school graduation.
Buffo was well into adulthood before she decided to take after her grandmother, however. Now, quilting is her favorite pastime. "It's a nice, peace-of-mind, relaxing hobby for me," she said.
Buffo's wall hanging, "Santa's Bag," is one of two winning Christmas entries in this year's system-wide Art is Ageless® competition among local winners from all 18 Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America communities. Her quilt will be featured in the 2016 Art is Ageless calendar, along with the works of more than 50 artists age 65 and older throughout Kansas and Missouri.
It took Helen Kripplaben of Bismarck, Mo., 11 months to complete a pattern that caught her eye in a cross-stitch catalog -- however, many have asked if it's a picture of her daughter or a loved one. Kripplaben named it "Angel's Lost Wing" and entered the piece in the Art is Ageless® competition this spring at Farmington Presbyterian Manor.
All those hours of work have paid off. Kripplaben's piece won Best in Show, amateur division, in the system-wide Art is Ageless masterpiece level competition. Her work rose to the top among more than 100 entries from 18 Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America communities in Kansas and Missouri. Artwork by more than 50 artists age 65 and older will be featured in the 2016 Art is Ageless calendar and note cards. Read More
The couple moved to Wichita from Texas in 2006 and began touring their new state right away. Fred Cowart, a lifelong illustrator and draftsman, often sketches the scenes they encounter on their travels. He was especially taken with the Bala Stone Bridge, built in 1887 in Riley County, northwest of Manhattan. The bridge is considered to be one of the largest in the state. Read More
The “Best in Show” winner at the recent Art is Ageless competition went to Jerg Frogley from Oswego. At age 71, it was also her very first show as an artist.
“My best friend, Joan Allen, kept telling me to enter the Art is Ageless competition,” said Jerg. “With her encouragement I did, and I was very pleased and surprised with the results. I had never entered an art competition before. I never wanted to sell my work. It’s something I enjoy doing rather than a job. That takes the creativity away if you have to do something.” Read More
To look at the wooden crane John Miller designed and built, you might assume he was some kind of engineer. The 4-foot boom is expertly balanced by the cab and engine and rotates 360 degrees. The crane can lift and lower a modest load, and the machine can crawl on its caterpillar tracks.
But Miller’s astounding creation – and its companion, a wooden scissor lift – are the products of a master woodworker’s skilled hands and a mind for planning. Read More
The competition was stiff as the judges contemplated which piece of art would take Best of Show in the Art Is Ageless exhibit at Fort Scott Presbyterian Village. Tony Fornelli, of Prescott, KS, slid in by a nose with his hand carved fish display.
“There were many worthy pieces of art that could easily have taken Best of Show,” commented Life Enrichment Coordinator, Melisa Fernandez. “It's exciting to see so many talented works of art in one place. I'm encouraged to see people of all ages trying new forms of art every day.” Read More
Don Smischny was celebrated as the Featured Artist at this year’s Art is Ageless exhibit at Salina Presbyterian Manor, an honor that started just last year. Visitors were treated to a gallery of Smischny’s stained-glass work in the form of lampshades, suncatchers, and even a bird feeder.
It’s a craft he developed only since retiring as an elementary school principal in Ellsworth. But Smischny said art has been a lifelong pastime. He has also crafted ornaments for the family Christmas tree, using glass balls injected with paint. He’s done rope coil weaving for a number of years. And he’s a fan of Chinese dragon boats – these colorful, traditional ornaments are made of crochet thread or yarn woven into six-pointed, three-dimensional shapes with a tassel at the bottom. Read More
The People's Choice Award resulted in a tie at the 2015 Art is Ageless competition at Newton Presbyterian Manor.
“Poppy Happy,” a painting by Marilyn Hope Lake of Hutchinson, and “4-Wheel Articulated Tractor,” a handmade wooden tractor by Verne Goering of Moundridge, both received the same number of votes. Both will be eligible for the masterpiece level competition against winners from 17 other Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America campuses. Read More
After his stellar showing in this year’s Art is Ageless competition, Lawrence artist Rick Prosser said he’s re-energized to do more painting and drawing.
This was the first year Prosser had ever entered Art is Ageless. He took first place in three categories: fiber arts, painting (professional), and drawing (professional). His large needlepoint piece, “Universe in Motion,” also took Best in Show. Read More
“I enjoy it when people like my work, like everyone else does,” said Wynn, a Rolla resident. “The recognition just makes me feel so very good. You do something and somebody appreciates it – at this age that doesn’t happen much.” Read More
“The first picture I ever painted, I was so proud of it. It was a landscape, with a little stream going through it. My daughter asked me, ‘What is that in the water?’ I told her it was a rock. She told me she thought it was an alligator.”
Despite her daughter’s reaction, Betty continued to pursue, and improve, her passion.“ Read More
“I always loved pictures and wildlife, but when I had a film camera, I just didn’t get into it because of the cost of development. After he got me the digital camera, I could just take photos, upload them to the computer and print them myself,” she said. “I’m mostly self-taught. I recently took a few classes and picked up a thing or two, but I don’t have a fancy camera. I just shoot on automatic settings.” Read More
It was only after she moved to Rolla Presbyterian Manor that she learned to paint and make jewelry. Womack’s skill progressed so quickly that she took home a second-place ribbon in the 2013 Art is Ageless competition for her painting, “Quaker Girl.”
Now, as Womack continues to take classes and develop her talents, she’s discovered that art can be therapeutic. “You have to push yourself even when you don’t feel good,” she said. “I look at it like this — I go even when I don’t feel good, and sometimes I feel better after I go. At least it gets my mind off not feeling good!” Read More
When Executive Director Michael Rajewski’s father James fell and broke his back last year, helping him choose where to recover, and eventually reside, after surgery was an easy decision. The situation surrounding the transition certainly wasn’t easy at all though. Mike’s mother Marian, aka "Cookie," also came to live at Presbyterian Manor with her husband.
“Dad was Mom’s primary caregiver, and with her dementia, it only made sense to move her here with him,” Michael said.
Moving to a new location can be difficult for anyone, but especially people who experience the disorientation of dementia. Read More
Alma Decker has been a friendly face at Clay Center Presbyterian Manor since 2005, when she and her husband, Ernest, moved in together. He passed away in 2010, and Alma has kept busy since then with a beautiful pastime — making intricately embroidered tea towels.
“Mother started embroidering towels as a teenager,” said Alma’s daughter, Marsha. “Her mother taught her at home, and while she tried to teach us children, we couldn’t do it quite as well as she could. She didn’t start doing it constantly until after daddy became ill. At 102 years old, she still practices her craft, even after breaking her hand a year or so ago. My brother, Gary, got her a magnifying light, which makes the detail work easier to see.” Read More
Why one Kansas farmer exchanged bushels for brushes
“I just couldn’t do both. My problem was that when I sat down to do artwork, time would pass by, and I wouldn’t even stop to eat. It was all-consuming. I was so engrossed in my painting.”
So Omar set down his paint brushes and pursued the more secure career choice to support his family—farming. Fortunately, he was fairly successful at that endeavor, and when the time came for him to hang up his tractor keys, he was happy to pick up his long-lost passion. Read More
Every time Mary Burchill and her husband, Brower, would fly over western Kansas, Mary would study the patterns in the fields below.
“I always thought that would be a really neat quilt,” Mary said. “I finally figured out I didn’t have to make a big one. I could make a little one.”
That little quilt has gone on to big exposure, as the cover image of the 2014 Art is Ageless® calendar. “Center Pivot Irrigation” won first place in quilting in 2013. The circle evokes an irrigation field, with a string of beads to suggest water. Four other rectangles represent Kansas crops and plants, including wheat, sunflowers and even that pretty purple weed, henbit. Read More
Almost everyone has a hobby. For some, it could be golf, bridge or books. For others, it’s something a bit more unusual. Take Russell James for example. Until recently, he spent much of his time turning old sewing machines into something unexpected ... decorative tractors.
The former farmer took up sewing machine repair in retirement, but didn’t stop there. He found a way to meld his two passions.
“I got the idea out of a farm show magazine,” Russell said. “I entered two of them at the fair and got a blue ribbon. I came across a dealer with a lot of old machines that didn’t know what to do with them all, so I kind of got started from there.” Read More
While living in Tulsa, Okla., Kay Sokol decided to take a watercolor class. Little did she know that not only would she develop a great talent, her talent would one day produce an income.
“Vivian Nielson was a friend of mine, and she loved to write poetry, or verses rather. She told me one day, ‘I love your watercolor, let’s get together and make greeting cards,” Kay said.
That’s exactly what they did. For 20 years, they created cards together, one painting, and one writing. Their cards were sold in high-end gift shops all over the country. Read More
Whether it reminds you of the solace of a church pew or delights your senses with its varied palette, stained glass is something almost everyone enjoys. And just like light through an ornate colorful window, the light that shines through our Artist of the Month Dorothy Jeffries casts a warm, colorful glow on all who meet her.
“I took a stained glass class from a woman probably 30 years ago, and I’ve been teaching it ever since. I just went home and did it,” Dorothy said. “The first piece I ever made was a big tree with some flowers in it for my husband for Father’s Day. My husband, Jack, who passed away this year, always supported my hobbies. Always. He even helped me teach my classes. He loved to cut glass.” Read More
When Doris Wyatt was in third grade, she heard about soldiers in the war who needed blankets. So she and her schoolmates learned to knit for the war effort. The girls took their nine-inch drab wool squares to the American Red Cross headquarters for a woman there to stitch together and send overseas.
That was 1918, and it was the first World War. Today, Wyatt is 105, and she was honored in April 2014 as the first Featured Artist at Salina Presbyterian Manor’s Art is Ageless® exhibit.
Marketing Director Kim Fair was so taken by the variety of Wyatt’s artwork that she wanted to give her a special platform to share it. “A trip through her apartment is an adventure in artistic expression,” Fair said.
Richard McCauley had never created a single piece of artwork in his life. But then he saw the painting classes on the Rolla Presbyterian Manor activity schedule and figured, why not?
That was about a year ago. Today, Richard already has a few Art is Ageless ribbons to show for his efforts. Not bad for a novice.
“I was so proud, and I so appreciated it too,” he said.
Richard attends a painting class on campus every Thursday, working steadily alongside a handful of other residents, with a disposable plate for a palette. Usually he paints landscapes from photos he finds in calendar pages. He appreciates hearing suggestions from the teacher and other students: How about a cloud here? What will you do with this mountain?
Alma Duncan almost didn’t enter this year’s Art is Ageless® competition. She had been disappointed before when the paintings and afghans she entered didn’t place at all.
Marketing director Kurt Lampe and activities director Lisa Montoya encouraged her to submit a crocheted Easter bonnet to this year’s contest. But Alma was reluctant.
“She was not going to let us enter it, because she didn’t want to lose,” Lampe said. “But we both thought it was very cute and nicely done.”
Lampe was the judges’ scribe at this year’s Art is Ageless competition. When he saw the certificate and first-place ribbon for fiber arts placed in front of Alma’s bonnet, he snapped a photo.
His name is Gerald and his smile is contagious.
The large brown eyes look out over the living room at Scott and Linda Freeman’s home in Farmington.
If Linda Freeman’s wish comes true, Gerald won’t be around for much longer.
Gerald is a giraffe. Not a real giraffe, of course.
Instead, he is a stained glass version that brings a smile to the face of whoever looks his way.
Freeman created the piece, titled “Good morning, Gerald,” for a very special purpose.
But, more on the giraffe later....
Lorene Peterson has shared a couple of different talents with the Art is Ageless® program during the past 10 years. While she’s been talented at one her entire life, it was the other that forged a bond between Peterson and her late sister, Audrey Pfizenmaier, who passed away in December 2013.
“I’ve always sewed. I made my own clothes growing up, and still do when I can. I’ve even made quilts for all seven grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and have more on the way. But I didn’t start painting until my 50s,” Peterson said. “My sister was good at painting. I wasn’t a natural, and she sent me to the lady who gave her lessons, Floy Pyle. She said she could teach anyone. I think she may have been a little exasperated with me at first, but that’s how I got started.”
As a former teacher and basketball coach, Prescott, Kan., resident Tony Fornelli knows you don’t just pick up a new skill overnight, and you often have to rely on help from others — unless you’re talking about his ability to carve wonderful creations out of wood.
“I picked it up fairly quickly,” Fornelli said. “I never had anyone show me anything. I was at an arts and crafts show in Mound City 25 years or so ago and saw a booth with wood carvings. I was a fisherman, so I told my wife, ‘I’m going to carve a fish.’ She bought me the tools, and so I did.”
Fornelli’s talents don’t end at carving fish, though. He’s made ducks, birds and knives out of deer antler and steel. He works mostly with basswood (linden wood). Read More
Hundreds of years ago, churches used artwork to teach about the life of Christ because most of the faithful could not read. Emporia artist Jim Dillman has carried on that tradition with a series of angel scenes rendered in his medium of choice: stained glass.
Dillman was Emporia Presbyterian Manor’s Featured Artist in May. Several of his stained-glass creations were on display all month as they were meant to be seen – illuminated by the sunlight streaming through the windows of the dining room. Read More
When it comes to creating art, Mary Koogle knows exactly why it’s so valuable to her.
“It’s so relaxing. It’s how I relieve stress. When I’m uptight, I concentrates on a piece and get more interested in that than what’s bothering me. I love being creative.”
Mary’s artistic passion certainly became evident at our recent Art is Ageless® showing and competition, where she took home the Best in Show award for her painting titled, “Mother’s Chair.” Read More
"Creating something new is just really a great feeling. I like getting rid of boring."
A fascination with pens led Ray Pitman into a hobby that has become more than just a way to occupy his time. "Pens" is a collection of miniature works of amazing art that brought passion, activity and friendship into his "retirement."
"People who come to the quilt shop are happier when they find something they can create."
Living with a grandmother who quilted made it likely that Dawn Habiger would grow up to like quilting -- and she did. Today's quilting hardly resembles the quilting bees of the past. Modern tools and technology take the place of scissors and hand stitching.
For Fort Scott resident Bobbi Kemna, art is more than a pastime, it’s a healing passion. Her artistic prowess with pottery is a skill she picked up later in life, but is one that has given her life new meaning.
“The clay keeps me centered. When I am out of sorts, edgy, foggy and unpleasant to be around, I say it’s time to play in the mud.”
Her “playing in the mud” has produced some phenomenal pieces and has earned her a coveted position as an Art is Ageless® award winner--an accomplishment Bobbi treasures.
Clarice Wion has lived at Farmington Presbyterian Manor since 2004 and did not try painting until moving to the community. She had always enjoyed crafting, and after attending a painting workshop offered at the community, she began sharpening her new found interest and talent.
The first painting she completed was an oil painting of a cardinal. She displays it proudly in her suite among her other artwork. Clarice’s favorite painting is a water color called “The Iris.”
It's all in the details
For Virgil Penner, it really is all about the details. The accomplished painter and pen-and-ink artist said people often don't see the reality because they don't see the detail.
In "Newton High School," he inked every line for his class of 1956. The school they attended was built the year most of them were born -- 1938. Penner wants to show with his art the beauty most people fail to see and never imagine is there. "The world is full of color," he said. "Some see all the shades ..."
To show the current work of older adults, entries to the Art is Ageless® competition must have been completed in the past five years. As we grow older, physical challenges take their toll and sometimes make the tasks related to creating art difficult to perform. To honor the artwork of our elders have done in the past, older works may be submitted for exhibit only during Art is Ageless events.
In the 2014 Art is Ageless calendar, we featured Ed Hogan, a long-time professor of art at the University of Missouri in Kansas City, with one of his pieces, "The Catcher."
I find it very fulfilling to do this type of art.
Topeka Presbyterian Manor
Creating something beautiful from a piece of hardwood helped David Butts get through a difficult family situation 30 years ago. “It was a kind of therapy,” he said. After crafting a walnut cane for his father, he began making other objects. He whittled away lots of wood and time as he shuttled two sons to various activities. As he acquired more tools and started taking classes, he progressed to making elaborate, heirloom-quality relief carvings. “I find it very fulfilling to do this type of art,” said David, who owns an engraving business.
It’s something I look forward to doing. Sometimes I can’t wait to get back to it.
Ernestine Medley, 79
Farmington Presbyterian Manor
Ernestine Medley, 79, has drawn or painted for as long as she can remember. “You get this feeling and you’ve got to do it,” she said. “I’m happier when I’ve got something going on.” Her artistic endeavors include fiber arts, and she usually has multiple projects under way. “It’s something I look forward to doing,” she says of creating art. “Sometimes I can’t wait to get back to it.”
Ten years ago she joined her daughter on a small alpaca breeding and fiber farm in Missouri. She knits many of the handmade products sold at fiber fairs and online through the enterprise, Alpacas d’Auxvasse, and bakes cookies for tour groups. A retired chemist, 85-year-old Micki started knitting as a child — “back when everyone knitted” — and knitted socks for World War II troops. Now her knitting “keeps me going and it makes me feel useful” she said. “I can’t sit still and do nothing.” Once a year she does an elaborate project like her winning lace-patterned shawl, which took about 600 hours to complete and nearly 1,400 yards of yarn, which her daughter dyed. Read More
I always liked to see what I could do with things I grew or saw around me. Anything you are around, you can paint.
Ruby Whatley, 101
Dodge City, Kansas
What began as a way to pass the time while her husband was traveling for work has become a way of life for Ruby Whatley. Having received no formal training in art, Ruby has gone on to create more paintings than she can count. Her favorite subjects are landscapes and flowers she has grown herself.
Her art has even inspired friends to take up watercolor classes — and captures the attention of the Art is Ageless® judges along the way, who awarded her a Best in Show in 2004.
I love watercolors because of the spontaneity... and the mingling and mixing of the colors.
Rae Zahradnik, 75
Rae Zahradnik followed a traditional path to becoming an artist, graduating college with an art degree. She went on to teach art to both kindergarteners and college students, painting in her spare time.
She finds painting addictive and has a tough time walking away from a painting she's started. It's not uncommon for her to paint until 2:00 in the morning and not even realize the time.
I really am surprised sometimes that some of the paintings I've done have come out of my brush.
Perry Hunsley, 74
Dr. Perry Hunsley first joined an art class as a way to spend time with his wife during her struggle with memory loss. He got hooked on the feeling of accomplishment and the pride painting gave him, and has been painting and entering art competitions ever since.
As a former general practitioner and surgeon, Perry finds inspiration most often in birds and trying to paint the unique features of each subject as accurately as possible.
I wish I could put my finger on what attracts me to a subject. But it's a combination of things, colors and shapes. I really can't define it exactly.
Omar Schartz, 79
As a child, Omar Schartz knew he saw colors and shapes differently from most other people. He also knew he wanted to paint. He enrolled in the Norman Rockwell School of Art, the famous correspondence school.
He put his dream aside to pursue farming, promising himself when his family was raised and he'd retired, he'd pick up the brush again. And, at age 60, that's exactly what he did.
I do like the bright colors. You will never see a painting that I've done that uses subdued tones. That's just not me.
Marty Ferguson, 78
Marty Ferguson fell in love with art as a young girl the day her parents gave her a box of crayons and a coloring book. She was happy for hours. By the time she entered high school, there wasn't anything she'd rather do than paint. She's refined her oil painting skills in many workshops led by noted artists.
Well known for her brilliant palette, one of her bright florals appears on the cover of the 2006 Art is Ageless® calendar.
It's funny because I had no training in photography. I decided I had to call it Southern Clouds, because nobody would ever believe that it was taken looking south.
Barbara DuBois, 95
Barbara DuBois' love of art began with summer classes in oil painting, as a high school student. She has always found time for artistic pursuits — sometimes in class, sometimes with her husband out on their farm during cold winter evenings and now at Newton Presbyterian Manor.
Her award-winning photography was included in the 2006 Art is Ageless calendar — as well as in the Presbyterian Manors greeting card collection.