Recently, Newcastle Place, a Mequon senior living community, hosted an Afternoon of Art, featuring exhibits of resident artists’ work. The artwork was admired by many members of the local community, but for many of the resident artists, it was the first time their art was on display.
When speaking with Newcastle Place residents and artists, one theme surfaced again and again: these artists create first and foremost for themselves.
“This is an outlet for me,” said Elizabeth “Betty” Ames. “I’m trying to learn more.”
Ames can often be found in Newcastle’s newly created art room working on various painting projects.
“I’m not an artist,” said Ames. “I’m here to play.”
The art room was created at the request of residents who wanted to learn more about art and wanted to experiment with their creativity. Newcastle Place fully furnished the art room with various materials for residents’ use.
“It’s open 24-hours a day,” said Ames. “I can always come down and work on something.”
Ames was joined in the art room by Lois Nusslock, whose hands were dirty from spending the morning working with clay.
Nusslock was inspired by a friends’ clay nativity set.
“I had never seen something like that,” said Nusslock and she set out to learn how to make it.
Nusslock’s nativity sets were a big hit at Newcastle Place’s Holiday Bazaar last year. This year, she has set a goal of creating 12 sets to sell at the 2014 Bazaar.
“I like playing in the mud,” Nusslock said of her new hobby. “It’s a lot of trial and error.”
Though Ames and Nusslock have recently started developing their artistic skills, another Newcastle Place resident has been painting for years.
Carol Mongreig’s work has an overarching theme – flowers.
“I like nature,” said Mongreig (pictured above). “I don’t sell my pieces, I give them to family. I paint for myself.”
Mongreig, who was an elementary school art teacher, started painting after retirement.
“I had more time to devote to it,” she said.
Mongreig finds inspiration on her own back porch at Newcastle. She is currently working on a three-set piece inspired by her tulip bulbs that are starting to bloom. She has set up an art station in her Newcastle Place home.
Mongreig’s work was exhibited at the Afternoon of Art exhibit, only the second time that her artwork was on display.
Like the other Newcastle Place artists, Mongreig doesn’t paint for profit, or so her work can be on display.
“The only other time I’ve been exhibited was because my friends submitted one of my paintings,” said Mongreig. “This is really just a relaxing outlet for me.”
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