Local News

Art students donate works to Palms residents

SEBRING - When it came time to select a piece of art for his room at The Palms of Sebring, the Rev. John Springer had no problem picking one depicting sea horses.

Springer, who had served as visitation pastor at First United Methodist Church for 14 years, said he liked the bright colors in the painting and depiction of sea horses moving in the water.

Casey Wohl, who does marketing, said Highlands Art League students participating in "Art Uncorked" classes donated 29 paintings to the Palms, with Springer's piece of art being one of them. She said her sister-in-law, Meredith Wohl, was instrumental in coming up with the Art Uncorked program.

Wohl said the students in the Art Uncorked classes get the chance to sip wine and paint .

Students who attended multiple classes "had too many paintings to hang on their walls at home," she said.

Since the Palms has more than 30 residents, those who showed up the event got to choose their art first.

Louise Smoak, a resident of the Palms, smiled as she picked a painting depicting many flowers.

Her daughter, Gayla Massey, said Smoak will enjoy having a painting in her room, as Smoak painted during much of her life. Massey said her grandmother - Smoak's mother - had a natural talent for art, but didn't begin painting until she was 70 years old.

Carolyn Dankin loved a painting showing a picture of a pink flamingo in a bubble bath, "because it's so cute," she said.

Although some may believe the flamingo has a glass of wine, Dankin said, she interprets the painting showing a glass of pink lemonade.

"I don't drink (alcohol)," she said.

Betty J. Hatch, another resident, chose a painting of a bald eagle.

"I've always like watching bald eagles flying in the sky over me," she said, adding, that she's seen bald eagles protecting their nests.

Residents like Hatch at The Palms of Sebring may have a future opportunity to create their own art.

Megan Ekenstedt, who demonstrated painting a picture of a snowman and a snow-woman, said the Arts League is working to develop a partnership with the Palms and possibly offer courses.

She told residents that the league offers different types of courses. One is on Valentine's Day where a husband and wife will each paint half of a painting.

Painting and sipping wine has become popular and works well "as long as you don't stick the paint brush in the wine glass," she said.


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