An unexpected worldwide Pandemic was not going to stand in the way of the artists and artisans at the Cummings Centre from showcasing their work at this year’s art show. The  annual event, with a new twist going virtual,  will feature 100 works from 50 students highlighting painting and crafting produced through this year’s pivot to on-line courses, ”The response to moving our classes on-line has been tremendous providing a true silver lining throughout this Pandemic year,“ says Patricia Kehler, Supervisor Fine Arts and Craft Centre, “Our artists and artisans adapted because they wanted to continue to be creative and social staying connected to community, teachers and friends.”

This year’s show includes portrait, landscape and abstract painting, jewellery pieces and tole painting on wood and furniture.  Students range from beginners to more seasoned artists and artisans with many taking several classes at a time, “There is more to creativity for the 50+ demographic than just the finished product with much anecdotal evidence showing that being creative is beneficial for brain health and physical health for seniors of all ages,” says Patricia,” Our students are consistently surprised that they can adapt and learn so quickly.”

The Tech team, made up of mainly volunteers, alongside the staff and teachers  focused on recreating the on-line experience for students as if they were in the building.  The Art Expo celebrates their many innovative works despite this challenging time, “Showing your art is extremely important, “says long-time painting student Ruth Dunsky,” We work hard to produce the work and want people to see it.”

Pastel instructor Harvey Segal, teaches beginners to advanced students focusing on the real principles of art combining design, composition, values, edges and more and has successfully made the transition to on-line classes,” While the switch has changed the in-person dynamic, I can still show my students and critique their work so they can continue to see and learn-a good teacher finds a way!”   says Harvey.  Newsha Hamidi, acrylic painting instructor saw the pivot to on-line as a bonus with participants zooming in not only from Montreal but Tel Aviv, Florida and Toronto, ”I am so grateful for this new technology  enabling me to continue teaching and encouraging my student’s creativity during this time,” says Newsha, “I was able to enhance my classes by sharing short videos and using a second camera for close-ups of my hand showing various techniques all the while maintaining a continued sense of community.”   Ruth feels as a passionate artist there is always room for improvement and learning whether in person in the art room or on-line,” The teachers are still able to provide an objective eye seeing and pointing out things allowing for continued growth in my painting.”

This spring try ‘Painting The Garden’ discovering the garden as a rich painting subject while working from observation, memory and photos or dabble in Acrylic Painting- Explorations examining various styles and techniques while learning how to use acrylic mediums, textures and gels to Portrait painting at all levels.

New to the line-up is the launch of the on-line Crafts and Social Club where participants can enjoy conversation and crafts, “There is a unique spirit at Cummings where members work with the professional team developing new and innovative programs on a consistent basis,” says Patricia, “We care about each other realizing that being creative is so important and we all come together to make it happen!”

The Art Eclectic 2021 launch will take place Wednesday May 5, 2021 from 5 – 6:30 pm.

Bring your own wine & cheese to our Virtual Gallery Launch! The expo of student works will be available to view online for an extended period. Please call 514-343-3510 or register online. Registration for the Spring and Summer Session is now on. For more information, click here.

Photo: Ruth Dunsky, Artist
Artwork: “Social Distancing” by Ruth Dunsky

The Cummings Centre’s mission is to empower and enhance the quality of life of adults age 50 and over by providing dynamic and innovative programs, social services, and volunteer opportunities in a vibrant, respectful, inclusive and compassionate environment. Building on its Jewish heritage, Cummings embraces people from all ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.

As the hub of Montreal’s 50+ community, the Centre touches the lives of 10,000 people on an annual basis. In addition to its main campus at 5700 Westbury Avenue in Montreal, programs are offered at several locations throughout the island of Montreal as well as online.

For more information, please contact us by phone at 514-343-3510, online at or in person at 5700 Westbury Avenue.