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In the News

In the News

Never too late to paint: Nursing home painters snag gallery show in Portland


Michelle Michaud saw the residents' paintings while visiting her grandmother at Marshwood and recommended the pieces go on display in the gallery space at Oak Street Lofts in Portland, where she lives.

The Sun Journal
By Kathryn Skelton
June 6, 2013

Florence Lamare leaned within inches of the canvas and gently dabbed yellow paint on her checkerboard tablecloth. With red paint, she added a tall strawberry next to a glass jar of milk.

The 87-year-old remembers finger-painting as a child but never picked up a brush to really give painting a try until April. That's when Jeannine "Gigi" Davin, a housekeeper at the Marshwood Center, became the center's first paid artist-in-residence. She teaches weekly lessons on mixing colors, perspective and paying attention to where the light falls on the canvas.

One resident is legally blind. One has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, known as ALS. Others have had strokes.

They've painted flowers, a lighthouse and a flag, and they've made an impression.

Residents have their first gallery show in Portland on Friday. Michelle Michaud saw the residents' paintings while visiting her grandmother at Marshwood and recommended the pieces go on display in the gallery space at Oak Street Lofts in Portland, where she lives.

The lofts were designed as an affordable housing complex for artists. It has hosted 30 artists in its gallery since January 2012, according to Mindy Woerter, communications manager for Avesta Housing, which owns and manages the lofts. Residents recommend, and curate, the shows.

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