Seniors learn some new tricks

Published 11:45 pm Friday, August 17, 2012



RESERVE – With hands-on instruction from a native son of the River Parishes, a group of local senior citizens recently had the chance to put some newfound art skills to work.

As part of a grant from the Houma Terrebonne Arts Council, the St. John the Baptist Parish Council on Aging provided a mini-workshop on painting instruction to senior citizens from the area who spend their afternoons at the Frank G. Lapeyrolerie and Leola Montz Senior Center in Reserve. A New Orleans based artist originally from the Edgard area, Jamar Pierre served as moderator for the two-day workshop.

“I worked with the New Orleans Recreation Department for 12 years and did similar programs with seniors in that area,” Pierre said. “I have found that painting can improve communication and dexterity. It is also a very soothing exercise for some of them.”

St. John Council on Aging Executive Director Cheryl A. Parquet said the workshop attracted more than 20 participants. She said interest was so high the Council on Aging is working on bringing Pierre back for more classes in the future.

“They really all had a great time with the classes,” she said. “Some of them learned things they didn’t know about themselves.”

Pierre said the goal of the class was to create a fleur-de-lis image on canvas. He said each participant was given step-by-step instruction on formulating the shape. The remaining painting was up to them.

“There were some who needed a little assistance with the starting shapes, but most wanted to do everything on their own,” Pierre said. “The finished products were something to be proud of.”