A Great Day to Paint: Gardens at Westlake Welcomes Artists

Artist JoAnn Depolo and budding artist Rhyeigh
Cruz of Bay Village Middle School present
Rhyeigh’s creation

It was a great day to paint at Gardens at Westlake Senior Living Saturday as local artists JoAnn DePolo and Sue Shanks hosted a two-hour seminar on creativity.

As a professional artist, DePolo shared that any stage of life is the right time to follow your artistic interests. Hers were reawakened several years ago when an experience reignited a childhood passion for art she had all but forgotten.

“I was taken back to a painting I did when I was a child,” DePolo reported to guests and residents at Gardens. It had a note on the back from her mother, addressed to her little artist! She hadn’t seen it for years…..

Since then, JoAnn has dedicated her life to both creating art and helping others in their creative quest.

Jason Stitt, Director of Fun, and Artist Sue
Shanks assist one of the residents.

“I facilitate opportunities for more people to experience personal growth through art by conducting painting classes in my studio, providing art enrichment programs in schools and painting workshops at libraries across Cuyahoga County.” she said.

JoAnn is the City of North Olmsted Art Commission and has written a book, ‘Making it as an Artist.’

Joining JoAnn was Bay Village Middle School student Rhyeigh Cruz, who displayed a work she created under JoAnn’s tutelage. “I am going to be an artist,” explained Rhyeigh to the audience, echoing the confidence DePolo inspires.

Resident Vera Loeffler displays
her creation.

Artist Sue Shanks then invited guests to enjoy a creative experience with free-form acrylic paint pouring.

“This abstract technique of art does not require applying the paint onto the canvas with a brush or a palette knife.  It uses gravity to move the paint across the canvas,” said Sue. “By tilting the canvas after pouring a series of colors directly onto the canvas it creates free flowing designs. There are several methods of the Acrylic Pouring.  The method we did with the residents at the Gardens was called the “Dirty Pour,” because it is a free flowing form.

“This art form can be done by any age group and is a lot of fun.”

The event was an example of Spectrum Retirement Communities message to residents that “You can be anything, but always BE YOU!”

Click here to view entire gallery.

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