Rose Schnitzer Manor art bound for Capitol
By Deborah Moon Seldner
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Two residents of Rose Schnitzer Manor, Olive Eng and Joy Davis, were selected to exhibit their artwork in a 61-piece Ageless Art exhibit on display at the state capitol in Salem, Sept. 2-9.
Six residents from Cedar Sinai Park's RSM were among the 114 seniors who entered the 20th annual state-wide Ageless Art contest held Aug. 17 in Newberg, sponsored by The Oregon Alliance of Senior and Health Services. To be eligible, the artist must have created the original work when he or she was at least 60 years old and all artists must be residents of one of the more than 130 non-profit residential and care facilities that are OASHS member organizations.
"The purpose of this event is to pay tribute to creativity and dignity of our older Oregonians," said Marilyn Van DeHey, program coordinator, in a press release about the contest. "Think of it: Grandma Moses didn't paint her first picture until she was 75, and by the time she passed away at age 101, she had completed 1,600 paintings. There just may be another Grandma Moses living in one of our resident communities."
At age 71, Eng has a jump start on Grandma Moses. This is the third year she has entered the ageless art contest and the third time her work has been selected for the exhibit at the Capitol. Eng said she has been painting about 10 years. When she lived in Los Angeles, she was a member of the Pacific Art Guild and entered their contest each year.
Previously Eng has done watercolors for the contest. This year she chose to do a collage, which she titled, "Yin Yang."
Davis, 77, said she has also been painting about 10 years. About four years ago, she won a senior art contest at the Mittleman Jewish Community Center.
Like Eng, Davis also moved to Portland from California, though her move was unexpected. Davis said she was visiting family in Portland when she had a stroke and she never went back. Now looking very fit and full of life, Davis attributed her recovery to "determination, stubbornness, my artwork and my family."
Davis's award-winning painting, "Autumn in Quebec," is a watercolor of the colors changing in the Laurentian Mountains of Quebec. She said she worked from a photograph she had taken.
Lillian Pakos, 78, another RSM artist, also credits artwork with helping her health.
"I had a sciatic nerve and it was really painful," Pakos said. "When I'd come and work on my art, I didn't feel any pain. I didn't think that was possible."
For RSM artist Bernice Weissberg, 77, "Painting is part of my life."
Weissberg is a member of the Watercolor Society. Each Friday she goes with a group of friends to a different location to paint. She said she enjoys painting outdoors. She said that she only paints from photographs that she herself has taken.
Sybil Kesten, 88, said she likes to paint landscapes, but she paints from memory.
"I don't have many photographs," she said.
Kesten said she wouldn't have entered the contest if she hadn't been encouraged to do so by the program coordinator at RSM.
The sixth RSM artist, Martha Burdett, 91, was unable to accompany her work to the contest—not due to any infirmity, but because she was away on a trip to Italy at the time. So Cathy Brick took two of Burdett's watercolors to the contest when she took the vanload of other RSM seniors and their work to Newberg.