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Mollie Ivaldi member MariReiner Senior Center Hobart stands next her painting which she titled “Blissful.” | Post-Tribune photo

Mollie Ivaldi, a member of the Maria Reiner Senior Center in Hobart, stands next to her painting, which she titled “Blissful.” | Post-Tribune photo

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The walls of city hall are lined with works of art by some of Hobart’s newest accomplished artists — members of the Maria Reiner Senior Center.

About a dozen of the artists with works in the exhibit attended a recent reception hosted by Mayor Brian Snedecor, proudly discussing their chosen medium and subject, and the art class at the senior center that brought out hidden talents few of them knew they had.

Mollie Ivaldi showed her landscape scene, which she titled “Blissful.”

“I’d like to spread out right here,” Ivaldi said of a grassy spot in her painting, which she drew from a picture.

Like many of the other artists at the reception, Ivaldi said she just started painting less than a year ago.

Judy Surowiec is even more of a beginner — having joined teacher Carol Heikema’s art class at the senior center in September. Her bluebird on black sandpaper drawn in pastels earned a place in a grouping of bird paintings on the second floor of city hall.

Rose Braun brought several family members to the reception, including a few visiting from out of state, to see the bright red cardinal she painted with acrylics in Heikema’s class.

Unlike many of the other art students, Braun has been painting with watercolors for about 10 years. She said she joined Heikema’s class to work in different mediums.

Among other works featured in this exhibit are Mary Tonello’s woodpecker, Rudy Pavletic’s ink and pencil drawing of the gazebo at Lake George in the winter and Elaine Dash’s photo of the Lake George dam.

Several are for sale, with the money going to the artist.

Dash said she’s taken photos of different places around Hobart and would like to do an essence of Hobart display one day.

Like the other student artists, Dash credited Heikema for her artistic accomplishment.

“Carol is the kind of teacher that looks at our whole selves, ever looking for those things that will give us cause to move ahead, inspiration that draws the best out in us, finds joy in what we never knew we had in us and brings encouragement to continue on,” Dash wrote.

Heikema, in turn, said she’s proud of all her students’ accomplishments during the nearly two years she’s taught the classes, which are held once a week.

“Many of the students came to class apprehensively. They weren’t sure they could do it. Art is very rewarding and fulfilling. Anyone can do it,” she said.

Heikema said many of her students have physical or social handicaps.

“One student is legally blind. Several have had strokes and have a hard time holding their materials. Some have had shoulder replacements. This is very healing for them. They help each other,” Heikema said.

Snedecor thanked them for bringing their artwork to city hall.

“What you’ve done and is on display is simply amazing. It brings a smile to your face,” Snedecor said.



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