Exhibit at Bronx senior center turns spotlight on elderly artists; portraits draw on favorite memories
"I call it 'Cosmo's Dream,'" she said, then looked at 7-year old Cosmo Arzeno. "It's his when the show is over."
The informal exhibit, which features drawings, paintings and collages of 23 artists, is the culmination of art classes at the senior center on Sedgwick Ave. run by the Jewish Association Serving the Aging (JASA).
Artist Michael Ferris Jr. worked with the seniors for five months as part of the city's SPARC (Seniors Partnering with Artists Citywide) program which pairs artists with senior centers.
Ferris encouraged his students to delve into their memories to create self portraits, landscapes and other imagery.
"As time went on, they became a lot freer and weren't so intimidated by the process of making art," he said. "As a result, there was a lot of creativity kicking in at the end."
Amparo Charneco's colorful drawing of two ballerinas took her back to her days studying fashion illustration as a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan.
"This refreshed me," said Charneco, 73. "I haven't drawn anything in more than 35 years. This got me to be more active again and I really enjoyed it."
Amonitti, 65, who described the classes as "therapeutic," enjoyed them so much she plans to return for more sessions in the fall.
"It was great," she said. "It's a type of expression and that brings out stuff you didn't even know was there."
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