Popular senior art program returns to Long Beach - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Popular senior art program returns to Long Beach

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Senior citizens in Long Beach and surrounding cities can once again discover their inner creativity. An art program that's been absent from the city for more than seven years is finally back in Long Beach. The response to the program has been so great, there's now a waiting list.

"I can't trace them, because I can't see," one woman commented as she looked at her artwork.

Their eyes may not be as sharp and their fingers are not so nimble. Some have never picked-up a paint brush before.

"It's a butterfly," joked one lady as she looked at a picture of a bird.

But with every gentle stroke, the ladies are discovering they can create beauty from a blank canvas. The city of Long Beach resurrected its Art Program this month at the new Senior Center on Daugherty Road.

"It's overwhelming! It's the first day and 31 people signed up," said Cabrini Cadrecha, Senior Citizen Center Director.

The return of the program means so much to the seniors. First, Hurricane Katrina destroyed the old Senior Center on Jeff Davis Avenue. Then, the previous instructor passed away.

"I had been hoping and praying for a couple of months for the right person to come through the door and about four weeks ago, a lady came in," said Cadrecha.

That lady is Linda Carter. Carter came in to the center, wanting to take a painting class there. Instead, the former art teacher was asked to be the new instructor. Carter agreed to volunteer. She even donated the art supplies and her son built the easels.

"I'm honored first of all to be able to do this. I'm the one that's receiving the blessings from being here.  I get paid for it with the joy of seeing these ladies paint. I'm so proud of them," said Carter.

One of her star students is LaRue Lott. The 90-year-old Long Beach woman is legally blind. She can paint with some assistance from Carter's granddaughter.

"Just to see if I could do it. I didn't think I could and it's just a challenge," said Lott.

When asked how she is doing in the class, Lott smiled and replied, "They say I'm doing fine."

What started out as one class has now expanded to two, giving more seniors a chance to see their creativity soar.

The program is free for seniors ages 55 and older. However, there is a small fee for supplies.   If you are interested in the program, you can sign-up at the Long Beach Senior Center on Daugherty Road or call the center at (228) 868-7517.

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