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Over the Hill Artists host art exhibit at Doyle’s Farm & Home

The Over the Hill Artists, a group of local retirees who create art together, displayed their work in a free exhibit at Farm and Home June 13. Pictured (from left to right): Carol Jones, Mary Sievert, Pat Jonas, Dianne Kearns, Jean Kirkwold and Nancy Anderson. Not pictured: Velma Germain.

An old proverb says that good things fall apart so that better things can come together. For the Over the Hill Artists, this saying couldn’t be truer. Having met four years ago at a watercolor class that was abruptly discontinued, several local retirees decided to form their own group for dabbling artists. Now a cozy group of eight, the Over the Hill Artists meet every Thursday morning at Doyle’s Farm & Home to put their creative minds to work.

“It’s been fun to see how people have improved over the last four years,” said Dianne Kearns, who has been with the group since its inception. “It’s also fun to have people stop by and tell us about their own artistic endeavors. Sometimes they’ll come back and show us their pieces.”

Although most of its members are amateur artists reacquainting themselves with creative expression, the group decided to formally display its work in a free exhibit at Farm & Home on June 13. Every member contributed at least one piece that followed the group’s “precious metals theme,” which involved creating a work of art using the colors gold, silver and copper. The artists also displayed anywhere from two to five other pieces.

The group normally operates informally with no established leader, inviting anyone to come and go as they please. The artists provide their own materials and work with many different mediums ranging from acrylic to pastel to colored pencil.

“We just want to have a good time and explore what we can do with art,” Kearns said. “Some people take it seriously and some people don’t. Personally, I have a million things I like to do, and art is only one of them. Other people really care about getting better.”

Although the group rarely engages in social activity outside of its weekly meetings, it usually takes three to four field trips throughout the year to art galleries or supply stores, and members certainly value the time they spend together crafting artwork at Farm & Home.

“They say a successful retirement is picking up things you used to like to do, but had to drop because of kids or career plans,” Kearns said. “As you get older, it’s important to engage in the social piece. Sometimes we’ll come in and say, ‘I’m not in the mood to make art,’ and we’ll just hang out and chit chat.”

Jenny Hudalla
A senior at Bethel University, Jenny Hudalla is pursuing degrees in journalism, Spanish and reconciliation studies. Having graduated from New Richmond High School in 2011, she served as editor-in-chief of the Tiger Rag before taking a job as editor-in-chief of Bethel's student newspaper, The Clarion. After completing her internship with the New Richmond News, Hudalla plans to move on to a career in social justice.
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