Last Saturday morning the Margie Weaver Senior Center was full of excitement as the 10th annual Art by the Young at Heart took place to celebrate the pieces of art created by local seniors.
Beautiful paintings of flowers, landscapes and animals adorned the center for the Dec. 7 art show where longtime art student Hanne Gear was announced as the Artist Spotlight for the annual show.
“I still can’t believe it,” Gear said. “It’s nice to be appreciated.”
Originally from Denmark, Gear, 84, began painting as a child before immigrating to the United States.
Her artistic ability began shining through from an early age when she began making paper dolls at seven years old.
“I have a little diary that I made… one of the pages in the diary I have a little paper doll drawn,” Gear said, smiling. “I still have it too.”
It wasn’t until she was in her late teens that Gear really honed in on her passion for art.
“I started when I was 18-19 to draw, mostly draw and then I started with some oil painting just for the fun of it and that was it,” Gear said.
Gear moved to Georgia 13 years ago and has been involved in the art classes offered at the Margie Weaver Senior Center for the past eight years.
“I didn’t know I could do what I have done,” Gear said. “I started out with flowers and stuff which was my favorite thing to do.”
Now, Gear paints not only flowers but slightly abstract still life and landscape pieces.
“She really has a long history of artistic ability,” said Carole Kinzie, art instructor at the center. “She was very detail oriented - still is, but when I first started with the class which was less than eight years ago she was painting tiny little very detail oriented flowers and flower landscapes.”
Kinzie teaches art classes at the center and strives to introduce different art techniques and media to her students to explore.
“I evaluate my students and try to suggest things that suits what they want to do,” Kinzie said. “Most of them now are painting acrylic because it’s quick drying and it’s versatile.”
The art show is an annual tradition that celebrates the art created by Kinzie’s artistic students, showing the important role art plays at the center.
“For my seniors, (art) keeps them interested, gives them something to do, a sense of accomplishment and it’s something to keep improving on,” Kinzie said.
“I’ve enjoyed it so much,” Gear said. “I don’t know what I would do without it - that and library books.”
Artwork is currently on display at the Margie Weaver Senior Center at 201 Recreation Road. The public is welcome to stop by the center to view the artwork.