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Fine HeArts Art Group

Fine HeArts meets on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. (If schools are closed, for example due to inclement weather, the meeting will be canceled for that day.)

This is a self-lead arts education program. The group decides what topics to study and explore. All are welcome.

There’s no cost and supplies are furnished (though occasionally, participants might need to chip in $1.00 for a special project).

History of Fine HeArts Senior Art Group:

In 2003 Jeanie Rose, an artist working at New River Community Action with Judy Weitzenfeld, then head of Retired Senior Volunteer Program (R.S.V.P), started an art group for senior citizens. She moved in 2005 temporarily ending the class. Judy Weitzenfeld wanted to continue an art group. She recruited Marsha Slopey-Paulekas to teach the group of ladies. These classes were held in the New River Community Action building. The members were all over the age of 55 according to the guidelines of RSVP. Some caretakers brought individuals with disabilities to socialize with the ladies and enjoy the activities. These women were in the 20 to 30 age range.

The group was renamed Fine HeArts Senior Art Program in 2006. Eventually moving to the Jacksonville Art Center, now called Floyd Center for the Arts. It is a program geared to any senior citizens in Floyd County, offering free two hour classes twice a month with all materials provided. Marsha Slopey-Paulekas has organized and taught the classes for many years. The class offers comprehensive instruction in drawing, oil painting, watercolor painting, acrylic painting, pastels, and clay. The classes are organized in “block” of instruction so that the students get a grasp and chance to excel in the medium being offered. Marsha has retired and the class is now “self taught,” meaning one student will guide a class for a few sessions in their area of expertise or we have local artists to teach a specific medium.

This program provides social interaction within the community. A ladies church group came for a class, and all went to lunch afterwards. It offers a chance to have a destination with a purpose twice a month. The program offers opportunities to volunteer within the community and with other organizations. Fine HeArts makes and sends Veteran Day cards, Valentines for Veterans, and Christmas cards for the local nursing home. We worked with Head Start to offer art for their classroom. We gave art classes at the local nursing home, and made decorations for RSVP luncheons. We have an art show at the Center to help fill one of the many spaces and donate food for the occasion.

This program is attended by 15 to 20 seniors twice a month for the enjoyment of art and friendship. Some members have been involved for almost 20 years.

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