Tis the Season for Creativity
By LINDA COMINS
Not content to be mere “Sunday painters,” a Marshall County group meets twice a week to create beautiful works of art.
Currently, six women participate in an art program at the Marshall County Senior Center in Moundsville, but they hope to expand their ranks.
Longtime member Elizabeth Yoho of Moundsville said, “We’d like to get more people involved. Anybody is welcome. If there is a man who wants to join, that would be fine.”
Dianna Norman, who resides in Maxwell Acres, said they meet from 8 a.m. to noon every Monday and Friday. She has belonged about 15 years.
Yoho, who has participated in the art sessions for at least 25 years, remarked, “We all help each other … We really enjoy the class. We just get together and have fun.”
Moundsville resident Verla Allen, who is a relative newcomer to the group, said the others are teaching her as they pursue their painting projects.
The group also made ceramic pieces for a period, but now they concentrate on painting.
Yoho has taken an art class, but the others are self-taught artists. They paint whatever they see and like. These artists draw inspiration from photographs on calendars and other illustrations.
Another longtime member, Lou Adams of Moundsville, quipped, “I used to draw stick people. I made stick people off the calendars.”
Betty Simons of Lindsey Lane has belonged to the group about five years. Glen Easton resident Alice Wnek, who works at the senior center, decided to join the art program eight months ago.
As an incentive for potential participants, Simons said, “We have paint and brushes they can use to see if they like it.”
Reflecting on the group’s roots, Norman said, “I think we just decided once it might be fun, so we just stuck with it.”
The amateur artists have become so accomplished that they have assumed responsibility for decorating the large meeting room where the group meets. Yoho said, “We decorate for every occasion.”
Joyce Howard, director of the senior center, commented, “It gives them a sense of ownership in the building, and that’s what we want. We (the staff) gladly turned it over to them.”
Currently, the meeting room is decked for the holiday season with some of the painters’ winter scenes and depictions of Christmas celebrations. “We put up ones that had snow in them,” Simons pointed out.
Howard, who has served as the center’s director for about 23 years, said the art program is one of several social activities offered by the facility. Members meet to play cards and bingo. Seniors also hold covered-dish dinners and gather for seasonal parties, such as an upcoming countdown to the new year.
The senior center’s major offerings are its transportation program and in-home health care, Howard said. The staff organizes transportation to doctors’ appointments and to grocery stores for senior residents of Marshall County.
Lighthouse, the in-home health care program, “helps with activities of daily living to keep them in the home as long as possible,” Howard said. The center also coordinates Family Alzheimer’s In-Home Respite, or FAIR, in which aides sit with Alzheimer’s patients to provide respite for their caregivers, the director said.
Wnek said the senior center employs 13 aides who assist at least 39 clients in the county.
In addition to the main facility in Moundsville, Cameron has its own senior center, while other satellites are located in Washington Lands, Glen Dale, Mount Olivet, Sherrard, Limestone (Pleasant Valley), Benwood-McMechen and Dallas-Sand Hill.
“There are eight different senior satellites throughout the county that meet for covered-dish dinners,” Howard said. “Some meet in community centers. Some meet here (at the Moundsville site). Normally, they meet monthly for a covered-dish dinner and fellowship.”
Besides the separate meetings, the center organizes a senior picnic for everyone at St. Jude Park in Glen Dale in August.
For more information on meetings and activities, call the senior center at 304-845-8200, visit its website at www.seniorcenter.com or check its Facebook page.
Meanwhile, Family Service-Upper Ohio Valley rents space at the senior center in Moundsville for its weekday meal delivery program, Howard said.