Friday, July 28, 2006

Mature art

By REBECCA STEFFAN, Enterprise Staff Writer

LAKE PLACID — The impressionistic painting of wildflowers by Alice Sheehan elicited gasps of wonderment from several observers, not just at her skill but also at the dexterity with which her 98-year-old fingers painted the small canvas.

“It’s just incredible,” said Bernadette Staofan, a staff member at Mercy Healthcare Center in Tupper Lake.

The 16th annual New York Association of Homes & Services for the Aging’s Art Competition and Exhibit features the work of 70 artists and is open to the public every afternoon at the Uihlein Mercy Center in Lake Placid Monday through Friday from 1 to 3 p.m. until Aug. 2.

Sheehan, who resides at St. John’s Home in Rochester, is the oldest person to have her work displayed in the exhibit.

Ranging from photographs to abstract paintings and watercolor landscapes, the diversity of the exhibit reflects the different areas and viewpoints of the artists.

“Best in Show” was awarded to Lamberto Hechanova, a 66-year-old resident at the Margaret Tietz Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Jamaica, N.Y. A painter and a sculptor for more than 60 years, Hechanova drew his award-winning abstract piece, “Intriborough,” with Bic pens.

Marian Walker’s painting, “A Long Time Ago,” earned the 89-year-old resident of the Guild Home for the Aged Blind in Yonkers a Merit Award in the exhibit.

In Walker’s biographical sketch, she calls herself “Grandma Moses” because she has been painting for so long.

The New York Association of Homes and Services for the Aging and NYAHSA Services Inc. jointly sponsor the exhibit every year, as well as the exhibit tour, which includes only 10 stops.

The exhibit will travel throughout New York until October, but Donna Beal, director of development at the Mercy-Uihlein Health Foundation, said it’s great for the residents to see the exhibit, especially because it is only shown at 10 locations.

After the Uihlein Mercy Center, the exhibit will travel to the Albany County Nursing Home.

Bryan Hutchins, a Mercy Healthcare Center resident in Tupper Lake, attended the exhibit with fellow residents and staff, including Staofan.

Hutchins said he enjoyed the exhibit, “very, very much.”

The exhibit is part of Uihlein’s effort to provide residents with enjoyable activities. One resident was so inspired by the exhibit that she asked if she could participate in next year’s competition.

“It’s so nice for residents to experience this; we have a large focus on providing enjoyable services to residents,” Beal said.

Along with art exhibits and Lake Placid Sinfonietta performances, residents at Uihlein participate in a horticultural program, financed by the Garden Club of Lake Placid. Residents can plant and tend flower and vegetable gardens at the center; for residents who are unable to venture outside, armchair gardening is available in the center, according to Beal.

A large canvas titled “Tracks to Success,” featured the paint trails of seven wheelchairs in different colors. According to the plaque accompanying the piece, wheelchair art can be therapeutic to children and those who are “physically limited and wheelchair-dependent.”

Each artist chose a color of paint and directed their wheelchairs over the canvas.

“Their wheels are an extension of themselves,” reads the plaque. The artists, Jessie, Willie, Jerome, Kadiedra, Luis, Ali and Adrian, are identified only by their first names.

A booklet detailing the winners’ artistic backgrounds, ages and places of residence is available at the exhibit.

The NYAHSA selected the 70 pieces from nearly 300 submissions and presented awards in two separate categories: Resident/Registrant and Staff/ Volunteer. The Best of Show award is presented only to the former category, and Merit and Honorable Mention awards are presented to both.

The tour began in April and will travel across New York until October.


At 9:45 AM, Blogger A said...

Hi Vina John! Thanks for your kind comment on my blog. Please feel free to add it to your links if you want. I took a look at your three blogs and in fact i felt a few issues wich i identify miself with. Classical Music, i was a violin player, oil painting, word art museums as well as those espectacular three Photos you have of sicilian volcain and indonesian sunsets. Congratulations. I will be back! Portuguese ** from Ana:)


At 10:12 AM, Blogger Jasper said...

Jasper here from
Thanks for the comment!
wow! you seems to be in the art industry!
I am in the art n design industry too. But still a trainee level.
Visit this address to see some of my art work


At 10:14 AM, Blogger Charles Abshire said...

Vina John,
I received an email from you about my blog, and while I appreciate the comment, I'm unsure about what you mean about an exchange. Is it that you want to post a link in your site to mine? If so, that's fine with me. The url by the way is


At 10:30 AM, Blogger Cece said...

Hi Vina John, I wanted to let you know that I've linked your blog to mine. Feel free to do that same!


At 5:04 PM, Blogger Citizen110 said...


I would be happy to link to your blog!

Herbie the Farmer


At 7:40 PM, Blogger Our Very Own Love Nest said...

Hi, John. Thanks for inviting me to exchange link with u. My link is . Have a great day ahead.




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