Seniors’ art on display in Ellerbe library

Instructor: “These old folks done pretty good”

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

ELLERBE — John and Ann Moore led a small contingent at Kemp-Sugg Memorial Library in Ellerbe.

The mission? To display the paintings and drawings of Richmond County senior residents. Mission accomplished. After a relatively short time, John Moore, volunteer instructor at the senior centers in Ellerbe, East Rockingham and Hamlet, had things just where he wanted them.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com John Moore, volunteer art class instructor at all three Richmond County senior centers, puts a work of art on display on Friday at the Kemp-Suggs Memorial Library in Ellerbe.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
John Moore, volunteer art class instructor at all three Richmond County senior centers, puts a work of art on display on Friday at the Kemp-Sugg Memorial Library in Ellerbe.

“These old folks done pretty good,” said Moore.

The display was the idea of Shannon Hearne, library branch manager, who quickly approved of the new decor that lined the perimeter of the building atop the bookshelves.

Moore insisted the work of the art students in his classes, geared for those ages 55 and up in the senior centers, is more about them and not him. But he couldn’t help feel a sense of pride in their accomplishments.

“Most of ’em are pleased as punch that they’ve been able to do what they’ve been able to do,” said Moore, who approached Ellerbe Senior Center Director Judy Tyndall in August 2013 about teaching. Since then, the county’s other senior centers also have started classes under Moore’s guidance.

Seventeen pieces were put on display mid-Friday morning from several artists, including Jan Presley, Velma Alford, Daffy Holder, Edith Poff, Irene Jernigan, Vivian Snead, Barbara Lefler and Larry Dick. Many of the pieces were entered in the recent Silver Arts component of the 25th annual Senior Games of Richmond County; nearly half a dozen won ribbons.

The problem Moore had was he had even more works of art to display and ran out of room. That’s symbolic of the struggle to come by canvasses, paint and supplies to keep the classes going.

“We need some private funds,” Moore said.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Irene Jernigan takes note of another artist's work.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Irene Jernigan takes note of another artist’s work.

Jacqueline Welch, Richmond County Aging Services executive director, said the program is funded in part by a Home and Community Care Block Grant. Revenue is limited, of course. She said her agency strives to ensure the art classes, like all senior center classes, are offered to seniors at no cost to them. Many of them are on fixed incomes and can’t afford even a nominal fee.

Moore said local donations, including gift certificates from the Rockingham Walmart, have helped.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Ann Moore shows off several pieces to a Kemp-Suggs Memorial Library visitor and former senior center volunteer instructor.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Ann Moore, right, shows off several pieces to a Kemp-Sugg Memorial Library visitor and former senior center volunteer instructor.

Filed in: Arts & Entertainment, Ellerbe/Norman, Featured News, Hamlet, Health, Latest Headlines, Rockingham

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