Lifespan Art Class Seeking Members
If art is your calling, this class could be for you.
Mary Ann Achter said she’s probably been a frustrated artist for most of her life.
She has taken art lessons and works with stained glass, but recently, she decided to join the art class offered by the LifeSpan Hillsdale Center—and she said everything is good about that.
“My neighbor told me about this class,” she said. “It’s a good way for me to get back into something I really enjoy.”
Art classes for Lifespan members are offered on Wednesday and Thursday mornings from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The classes are informal. No experience is necessary, and all supplies are provided. Instructor Ann McCartney is there on Wednesdays to guide the class.
“This organization really tries to get people together, retirees especially, to meet and socialize and find some new interests,” McCartney said. “We have people who have been here for years, but we’re always welcoming new artists.”
Several seats are open in the class, and McCartney said she welcomes anyone who is interested. Even if you’ve never picked up a paintbrush, McCartney said, she’ll show you what to do.
That’s how Jane Mitchell learned, although she started while former teacher Pat DiPippa was at Lifespan.
“I never painted until about five years ago,” Mitchell said as she added the finishing touches to a beach scene called “Vacation.” “I’ve been able to sell some paintings. I just love doing the shows. This all is very relaxing for me.”
Mary Simon has been around the art studio a bit longer. She started painting when she retired in 1999, and has worked with Lifespan classes since 2001. She helped organize art shows each year—the 10th annual art show was held at Dormont Municipal Center in the spring.
“I have seen some of these artists progress to showing real high-quality work. People who never considered painting before,” she said.
Art is the main focus of the class, but the artists working on Wednesday morning said it’s also a place where they’ve made good friends.
“We discuss all the world’s problems,” said artist Liz Labee. “The painting class is just a medium to get people to become friends. I’ve belonged to other art groups that just didn’t have that same atmosphere.”
Labee’s work was featured at the spring art show. Her work and that of others in the Lifespan classes also is on display in the foyer at South Park Theatre. She’s been attending art classes at Lifespan and doesn’t plan to give them up anytime soon.
“This is my day,” she said. “The world could end and I’d still be here Wednesdays and Thursdays.”
Lifespan is a senior resource center, located in Dormont Municipal Center. The cost to join Lifespan is $10 per year. Art classes are $4 per day. Classes for beading, quilting, health programs and more are available through Lifespan.