The Artists of Heron Point

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Members of the Heron Point Art Interest Group in front of large canvas painted by HP residents in an art therapy class. L-R Standing Joanne Scott, vice-chair; Olga Owens; Karen Fitzgerald, treasurer; Collette Moffatt, chair; Barbara Finneson, secretary; Seated – Leslie Baldwin, head of permanent collection; Linda Atcheson, studio chair & coordinator for outside artists

Chesertown is a thriving arts community, with many active and well-recognized artists. But while the local tradition of art goes back a long way, it has certainly gone to a new level at Heron Point. Shortly after the retirement community opened some 25 years ago, a group of residents formed an art group — which quickly established itself as one of the focal points of the local arts scene.  And now artists at Heron Point are looking forward to a new, purpose-built, studio, currently under construction by Yerkes construction of Chestertown and scheduled to be completed by spring 2018.

Collette Moffatt, chair of the Heron Point Art Interest Group, in the current Artists Studio.

Collette Moffatt, the current chair of the Art Interest Group, said in an interview that artists of all levels of experience are members. The gamut runs from former art teachers and professional illustrators to neophytes  — like herself — who decided to pursue an interest in art after retirement. There are classes for all levels of artists. One class is “Zen Art,” which is designed to give aspiring artists a chance to try their hands at creating work without some of the more intimidating aspects of a typical art class. Moffatt said about 16 members have signed up for space in the new studio when it becomes available.  The art group as a whole has 44 members, though not all work in the studio.

Joanne Scott with one of her paintings in the Heron Point studio

Joanne Scott, whom the Heron Point artists consider their “artist in residence” because of her extensive experience – including exhibits of her work at Chestertown RiverArts and nationwide — is perhaps the best known of the group. (Click here for a Spy feature on Scott from 2012.)

Scott, a retired professional artist and art teacher who lived in Annapolis for 30 years, has given classes to other Heron Point residents for about 5 years, and has been instrumental in encouraging other residents to take up art for the first time. She also continues to exhibit regularly, with a show, “Elements,” scheduled for Chestertown RiverArts Feb. 1-24. An opening reception for the show will take place Feb.2, First Friday.

Several Heron Point artists, including Linda Atcheson, Jack Fancher, and Olga Owens, have works in the current members’ exhibit at RiverArts.  The exhibit will be on display through the end of January.

The hallway along the administrative wing of Heron Point regularly features a rotating exhibit of Heron Point artists, including Fancher, long a fixture of the local arts community and now a Heron Point resident. While the hallway is currently being refinished, with fresh paint on the walls, a new exhibit will be up as soon as the work is completed. And there are pictures spread around Heron Point from artists who belonged to the group from the early years of the program — Anne Frye, Hilda Green and Loraine Hall among them.

Other works by the resident artists hang at various points around the facility – a large painting by Scott is above the stairway leading to the dining room, and a triptych by Fancher is on the wall outside the current studio. A large abstract canvas done by members of the art therapy program hangs at the foot of the main stairway.

As the latter painting indicates, art is a pervasive feature of the Heron Point community, with an active art program available for residents in the assisted living section of the facility. “Even dementia patients can paint,” said Scott, noting that the ability to express oneself often survives past the point where verbal communication becomes difficult.

The paintings shown here are from a display of Heron point residents’ art last fall.  In addition to regular shows of artwork by Heron Point residents, the Art Interest Group also arranges for visiting exhibits by outside artists.

All this is in addition to the permanent collection of art which is displayed throughout the main building and outside on the grounds.  While most of the artworks are paintings, there are also statues, ceramics, and large installations such as the wooden boat which sails the ceiling of the lobby and the whimsical “larger than life” Snoopy in his Sopwith Camel that currently sits beside the main staircase.

Main parlor in lobby of Heron Point with sail boat

The current studio also hosts a weekly bird-carving group led by the  Bill Reinhold. A display cabinet with some of their work is visible on one wall of the studio.

The artists are especially excited at the news that they are about to get a new, larger, purpose-built studio.  Leslie Baldwin, one of the members of the Art Interest Group, said there is now studio space for about 10 artists. Also, the limited space doesn’t allow sufficient ventilation for some media, notably oils and pastels, which can generate dust and odors that bother many people. Even so, when visitors from one of the other retirement homes in the Acts group visited Heron Point, they were “very jealous” of the local artists. Heron Point is the only facility in the chain with a dedicated studio space. Linda Atcheson said the studio is “a big selling point” for prospective residents. “Many Chestertown people see Heron Point’s art program and want to come here because of it,” she said.

At present, the art studio is in an unoccupied apartment along the river side of the complex – offering permanent working space for about 10 members, though others get to share the facility. Because apartments in the facility are in high demand, the location of the studio has changed three times since it was set up. However, about two years ago when planning began for the new permanent studio began, Heron Point’s executive director, Garret Falcone, promised the artists that they wouldn’t have to move again until the new permanent facility is completed.  And now that time is almost here.

The new studio, being built on the front of the building near the main entrance, will have room for about 14 artists at a time – and will have upgraded ventilation. It will also have generous windows in the “bump-out”, allowing plenty of “wonderful light” for the artists to work in. There will also be space for classes and other individual and group projects.

The studio space, being built by Yerkes Construction, is expected to be ready by Spring 2018.

Photo Gallery – photography by Jane Jewell.

Snoopy in his Sopwith Camel guards the staircase at Heron Point

Statuettes of herons grace the circular drive in front of main Heron Point building.

Architect’s rendering of Artists Studio at Heron Point as it will look when completed in spring 2018

Map of Heron Point main building

Carved wooden bird in display case in a corner of the Heron Point art studio

Carved wooden bird in display case in a corner of the Heron Point art studio

 

 

 

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Senior Nation: Coping with Stress by Kim Huff

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The body deals with stress by using the flight or fight response. When the body senses something stressful, hormones are released that initiate physiological responses known as the stress response. Long term activation of the stress response decreases the efficiency of the immune system and increases the risk of physical and cognitive diseases.

Lifestyle changes associated with age can create stressful challenges such as:

    • Coping with medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and arthritis, chronic pain, cancer or Alzheimer’s disease
    • Physical and cognitive changes associated with aging that limit functional mobility and intellectual processes respectively
    • Retirement is a time of relaxation, however changes in lifestyle and financial status can initiate stress that can carry over into long term stress.
    • Becoming a caretaker for a friend, neighbor, or loved one or losing a friend or loved one

Signs of short term or chronic stress include:

      • Worry, anxiety, or panic attacks
      • Sadness or depression
      • Feeling pressured, hurried, helpless or overwhelmed
      • Irritability and moodiness
      • Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
      • Stomach problems, headaches, chest pain, asthma, skin rashes
      • Problems sleeping
      • Drinking too much alcohol, smoking, or misusing drugs
        Changes in eating habits

The following are suggestions for managing stress:

        • Give back to the community by volunteering to enhance self-esteem and reduce stress.
        • Participate in regular exercise, eat right, and maintain a healthy weight.
        • Refer to problems as “challenges” that can be overcome instead of adopting a feeling helplessness
        • Spend time with friends and family. Social relations help with adjusting to changes such as retiring, moving, and losing loved ones.
        • Learn and use relaxation techniques and meditation.
        • Make use of support and education groups, as well as respite care, which provides time off for caregivers.

For more information on the stress response and coping with stress go to the American Psychological Association’s website apa.org or consult a medical professional.

Kimberly Huff is the fitness director at Heron Point of Chestertown

Terry Wolf Art at Heron Point in May

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The paintings of local well-known artist Terry Wolf will be featured at Heron Point during the month of May. Wolf works in many mediums but says “watercolor, pastels, egg tempera and water gilding are most suited to express my ideas.” He paints in Maine and Maryland and has studied with John Dehlinger and Henry Peacock. He also studied “The Art in Painting” at the Barnes Foundation for three years. He will return to the Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania this spring and summer to demonstrate egg tempera painting in celebration of Andrew Wyeth’s 100th birthday celebration.

The paintings may be viewed daily from 10am until 5pm. A reception honoring Terry Wolf and his work will be held at Heron Point, 501 E. Campus Avenue on Saturday, May 6th, from 2 until 4pm. All are welcome.

Senior Nation: Springtime is the Perfect Time to Eat Right by Kimberly Huff

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The National Institute on Aging recommends older adults follow the USDA Dietary Guidelines which emphasizes a variety fruits and vegetables, focusing on dark green, red and orange vegetables, whole grains, seafood and fat free dairy products.

Unfortunately, older adults are often faced with many barriers to heathy eating. Age-related changes result in diminished sense of smell and taste, difficulties with chewing and swallowing, digestive disorders and other chronic conditions which can influence eating habits. One of the most concerning change is the loss of appetite which results in decreased hunger and increased satiety (feeling full). This if often referred to as “anorexia of aging”.

Medications may also represent a barrier to healthy eating. Medications can alter taste perception which decreases interest in eating. Medications may also have interactions with foods, have diet altering side effects, impair digestion and absorption of nutrients.

Lifestyle factors such as changes in physical activity, changes in cognitive function, economic status and social isolation can also have a negative impact on dietary choices. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration provides the following recommendations to help older adults overcome barriers to
healthy eating:

• Shopping on a budget: buy foods on sale – buy store brands – use coupons
• Options for people with difficulties with chewing, swallowing or digestion: fruit juices, soft canned fruits, vegetable juices, creamed or mashed cooked vegetables, ground meat, eggs, milk, yogurt, cooked cereals and rice
• Unable to shop – requesting assistance from family members or friends or use a delivery service
• Unable to cook: buy low sodium, pre-package meals
• Limitations with taste or smell: use herbs and spices to flavor food
• Decrease interest in eating: sharing meals with family and friends
• Check with Health Care Professional to see if medications may be affecting eating habits

Kimberly Huff is the Fitness Director of Heron Point in Chestertown MD.

Senior Nation: The Art of Falling with Kim Huff

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If one had to summarize Heron Point of Chestertown fitness director Kim Hoff’s philosophy regarding those of a certain age falling, it might very well be “Enjoy the ride.” And given Kim’s training and self-confessed addiction to physical fitness research, that should be taken as sound advice.

In turns out that a good bit of Kim’s work with her clients relates focuses on actually preventing falling, including balancing and strength training, but when it does happen – and it does – she wants people to be prepared since the consequences of not falling the right way be catastrophic for older adults.

The Spy spoke to Kim last week about her approach to physical fitness as one move beyond the age of 60.

This video is approximately three minutes in length. For more information about Heron Point please go here.

Heron Point to Host Forum on Preventing Falls

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Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans. But, falling is not an inevitable result of aging. Simple lifestyle adjustments can greatly reduce the number of falls among seniors.

Join Heron Point for its 2nd Annual Falls Forum to explore what you can do to prevent falls in your life.

The forum will be held:

Tuesday, November 8th
10:00 to 12:00
Heron Point of Chestertown
501 E. Campus Ave

Please RSVP by Monday, Nov 7th by calling Kim Morgan, 410-810-8635. The first 100 participants receive a goodie bag!

Educational Presentations at the Forum include:
> Medications and Fall Risk – Omnicare Pharmacy
> Vision and Balance – Aegis Therapy
> Health Issues Related to Falls – Heron Point Nurse Practitioner
> Tai Chi and Balance Exercise Demonstrations

A Blink of an Eye: Heron Point Celebrates 25 Years

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A crisp, clear autumn day and dozens of guests including town, county and state officials, made for a perfect 25 Anniversary celebration and ribbon cutting at Chestertown’s Heron Point Retirement Community.

Hosted by Executive Director Garret Falcone, and given a blessing by Chaplain Anne Ledbetter, guest speakers talked about the past, present and future of the facility, and the changing world of retirement communities while honoring the significance and impact Heron Point has on the town and county.

Speakers included in the video are: Jim Urda, Former Executive Director of Heron Point, Lyle Feisel, Vice President of Resident Council, Mayor Chris Cerino, and Jonathan Grant, ACTS Retirement Communities Vice President Mid-Atlantic Region.

At closing remarks, a Maryland General Assembly Proclamation was read by District 36 Delegate Jay Jacobs.

Compass Hosts Grief Support Group at Heron Point

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Bereavement counselors Linda Turner, MS (left) and Ann OConnor, LCSW-C (right)

Compass Regional Hospice is offering a grief support group for adults who have experienced the death of a loved one. The first meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 19, 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., at Heron Point, 501 E. Campus Avenue in Chestertown. The group will meet every Wednesday through December 21. Participants are asked to commit to attending all or most of the 10 sessions in order to benefit the most from the group.

The grief support group will be co-facilitated by Ann OConnor, LCSW-C, and Linda Turner, MS bereavement counselors for Compass Regional Hospice.

“Our grief groups are a combination of education and support,” says OConnor. “In this confidential and intimate setting, with facilitation from the leaders, participants will have the opportunity to share their experiences, memories, and learn essential coping strategies through open discussions.”

Each group session will focus on a different topic from the renowned author, educator, and grief counselor Dr. Alan Wolfelt’s book Understanding Your Grief.

A $25 enrollment fee covers the cost of materials. No one will be turned away based on inability to pay.

For more information about the adult grief support group, call Compass Regional Hospice, 443-262-4100, or email Ann OConnor, aoconnor@compassregionalhospice.org or Linda Turner, lturner@compassregionalhospice.org. To learn more about other grief support programs available through the Compass Regional Hospice Hope & Healing Center, visit www.compassregionalhospice.org/hopeandhealing.

Working Artists Forum Opens 10th Annual Memorial Show at Heron Point

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Best in Show, Heron Point, Patty Mowell and Teddy Johnson

“Blossoms of Spring,” Best in Show watercolor by Patty Mowell, and Teddy Johnson, Judge

On Wednesday, June 1st, the Working Artists Forum (WAF) opened their Tenth Annual Memorial Show at Heron Point in Chestertown, Maryland.  WAF is a non-profit organization of 90 working artists who meet monthly at the Academy Art Museum in Easton for lectures, critiques and demonstrations and exhibit their work in a variety of venues throughout the year.  Artist and curator Teddy Johnson judged the show this year and was on hand for the awards presentation to meet the artists and provide informative critiques for the winning works. Teddy Johnson has a BFA in painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art and a MFA in drawing and painting from the University of Georgia, His work is exhibited in galleries in the Mid Atlantic area, Atlanta, NYC. and internationally in Italy and in Korea.  He has curated shows in Baltimore, MD and Brooklyn, NY with the Rotating History Project, which he co-founded in 2010. He is based in Baltimore, MD.

Mr. Johnson described the works in this exhibit as “presenting a vibrant and thoughtful community of artists, each with their own style and handling of drawing and painting materials.  Though largely united through their exploration of the visible world, each artist displayed their own unique voice in surface quality, texture, and approach.”  Best in Show was awarded to Patty Mowell for her watercolor painting, “Blossoms of Spring,” a work that caught his attention immediately for its “freshness and fluidity, walking a line between representation and abstraction. It shows a felt understanding of both the subject and shape, and there is a freeness of expression coupled with a wonderful contrast between the marks of the glass and bouquet.”  Three Awards of Excellence were given to Martha Holthausen for her oil, “Regal Sheltie”, Nancy Thomas for her watercolor, “Blue Danube with Fruit”, and Evie Baskin for her plein air pastel, “Morning at Poplar Grove.”  Four Honorable Mentions were also awarded to Karen Wood for her oil painting, “Marsh”, Jack Fancher for his acrylic, “Breaking Wave II,” Barbara Zuehlke for her watercolor, “Red Edges,” and Patti Lucas Hopkins for her oil, “Sally’s Garden.”

This delightful show will hang daily throughout the month of June at Heron Point and is open to the public for viewing.  Please sign in at the desk when you arrive.  Heron Point is located at 501 East Campus Avenue in Chestertown.  For more information about The Working Artists Forum, please see www.workingartistsforum.com.