There’s plenty of paint to go around at the Harrisburg Jewish Community Center’s artist residency program. One thing you won’t find is paintbrushes.
“Go ahead and do it with both hands and pretend you’re catching flies,” artist in residency Cheryl Kugler said.
Kugler had a group of seniors to stretch out their fingers.
“Participants last year actually said to me ‘When we do this again, we want to finger paint. Why do the kids get to have all the fun?'” Kugler said.
It’s the third year she’s been the senior artist in residency.
“We have an early learning center and they do that as well, but it’s something that it taps into your more youthful, energetic type of excitement,” said Jenn Ross, CEO and president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg.
“The whole series is called the art of curiosity, so keep that curiosity open as we go through this process,” Kugler said to the class.
Everyone had a different painting, a different canvas, and a unique vision.
Sandy Gilleo enjoys “taking what somebody else told me to do and working to make it my own.”
Gilleo comes for the art and stays for the camaraderie.
“Happy birthday and may all your dreams come true,” one woman sang to her.
Each stroke of the finger is a step closer to a masterpiece.
“The artists come to the table with so much life experience and how they interpret that in their art is very interesting to see,” Kugler said.
“During this period of time, I don’t think about other stuff and I do something that’s really different than the rest of my life and I think it’s really good for me,” Mary Kay said.
It’s all about exploring their curiosity, painting their worldview with new vibrant colors and of course, coming up with a finished product.
All the artwork from the 15-week course will be displayed at a show at the JCC in September.