Provided by Van Eperen Agency
For the past year, the residents at Westminster at Lake Ridge have been literally stripping the walls of their hand-made art and calling up their grandchildren for that personally knitted sweater and scarf gift set from years before, all to be featured at the community’s ongoing art gallery.
Mary Ellen Saville, president of the Westminster at Lake Ridge resident council, is the coordinator of the gallery. She said she got the idea from visiting her parents in their continuing care retirement community (CCRC) in North Carolina. She explained how their community had such a great way of displaying art, and that it made her think of some empty halls back at Westminster at Lake Ridge.
“It seemed like an ideal place to create a gallery,” said Saville. She and the Westminster Art on Campus committee took it from there.
That was nearly one year ago, and now the gallery is closing out its fourth exhibit, which features fiber art, and gearing up for its fifth exhibit on fine art, including silk screens, pen and ink, watercolors, pastels and other media.
“The fiber art exhibit was really something special because all of the art featured was hand-made by the residents,” said Saville. “The art was literally taken off the walls in residents’ cottages or apartments and many had to even call up their children to ask if they could borrow back the pieces.”
Saville explains that it was not always this easy to find art for the gallery. When she first started the exhibits last summer, she had to personally call residents and ask if they had any art they wanted to feature. She said she could tell they were a little shy and hesitant. Now, going on the fifth exhibit, Saville has residents calling her. She even has a “selection associate” that goes with her to the residents’ apartments and cottages to select the pieces for the exhibit.
Saville said she hopes that the Westminster at Lake Ridge Gallery re-ignites residents’ creativity.
“We have a real depth of experiences of people who have been artists. Many people could not bring their art equipment with them, but they still have the pieces they created,” she said. “Some are still producing. It’s a dream of mine to have an art studio here where we can bring in teachers and people can get back into art.”
The fifth Westminster at Lake Ridge Art Exhibit featuring fine art will begin on Friday, May 6, with a grand opening reception that day from 4:00-5:00 p. m. The exhibit is open to all residents and staff, as well as family and friends. Members of the general public are also welcome to visit the gallery and arrange a community tour. Those interested should contact the Westminster at Lake Ridge marketing office at 703-436-8122.