20 Sep Art and Artists: By Barbara Rives
Art and artists have become a big deal here (at Park Springs) after initial Herculean efforts. When our community opened, there was an intense struggle for power between competing groups. One room seemed large enough to accommodate art groups with varying interests.
The problem was that the same type of room was needed for Bingo. Soon both sides declared they couldn’t coexist. Sometimes the artists needed the room at Bingo time, and sometimes the Bingo players complained that they were getting paint on their clothes while occupying chairs used by those sloppy artists. A huge effort was mounted to encourage neatness and cleanliness among the artists, but artists are by nature messy and sometimes, well, unclean. A new room was found for the Bingo group but, just as we artists felt secure, another group insisted the room be shared by seamstresses. Fortunately, the seamstresses remained unmoved by efforts to move them to the art room and the artists won the room by default.
To this day we wallow happily in our messes of paint and clay. I discovered that, for me, there is no better way to forge close friendships than by drawing and painting together regularly for years. Our main problem is the inevitable loss that death leaves in its wake. We have one section of our walls covered by works of our painter friends who have passed away, but we try to honor them also when we can by insisting no one sit at their place at the tables. When we can do this, we feel their presence among us.
The author, Mrs. Barbara Rives, has been a Member of Park Springs, Atlanta’s premier retirement community, since 2004.
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