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Trinity Oaks hosts first annual Campus Art Crawl to showcase residents’ talents

SALISBURY — Though the sun refused to shine, people taking in Trinity Oaks’ first annual Campus Art Crawl were still privy to a treat on Wednesday.

Eighteen residents at the senior living community opened their homes to visitors during the crawl, displaying a wide array of artistic talents. From paintings and photography to counted cross-stitching and copper smithing, a little bit of everything was on display.

Bill Johnson, executive director at Trinity Oaks, said the crawl came in response to a recent influx of talented residents.

“We had a lot of artists move in over the past three to four years,” Johnson said. “Everybody had their own kind of talent.”

Johnson and Trinity Oaks’ learning for life director, Donna Groce, said the crawl offered artists a chance to showcase their crafts as well as get to know one another.

“It’s been a good ice breaker for them,” Groce said.

“It’s been a great way for all the artists to kind of bond and have an artists’ community within the greater community here at Trinity Oaks,” Johnson added.

Contributing residents were Barbara and Rich Furmanski, Russ and Lou See, Jim Ryser, Russ and Nancy Gavitt, Richard Snell, Bruce and Susie Springfield, Barb Whenal, Pauline Kitts, Nelda Wicklund, Ann and Fred Medlin, Glenn Reichley, Shermer Jarvis and Marilyn Clifford.

Each of the artists — or a family member, in some cases — regaled visitors with details of the work on display. They talked about when they started crafting, what method they use and how long each piece took to create.

In one apartment, Nelda Wicklund’s daughter Kathy Nelson shared information about her mother’s counted cross-stitch pieces, from the number of stitches to the number of months a piece took to complete. Wicklund’s work ranges from seasonal angels to replications of famous paintings — “Girl With the Pearl Earring” and “The Starry Night,” to name a few.

Wicklund still pursues her craft, despite macular degeneration. She now uses head and table magnifiers to help her work.

In another apartment, Ernie Kitts proudly showed off his wife’s wide range of paintings. She was the master of many methods on canvas, evidenced by the collection of prize ribbons also on display.

“She could sew, bake, cook, decorate, whatever,” Kitts said, “but when she wound up in this art business, she took off with it.”

The Art Crawl was followed by a reception and “Paint Off,” featuring local artists creating pieces on site for a silent auction.

“After all of their hard work getting their apartments ready and gathering their art together, we wanted to treat them to something special,” Johnson said. “This is for our artists to enjoy some of the other artists (in the community).”

Guests were Phyllis Steimel, Jonathan Hoffman, Cheryl Goins and Keyth Kahrs. Proceeds from the auction went to Rowan-Cabarrus Community College’s fine and applied arts program.

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