Rosalyn Sussman Yalow, the first American-born woman to be awarded a Nobel Prize in medicine once said, “The excitement of learning separates youth from old age. As long as you’re learning you’re not old.” The Kernersville Four Seasons Watercolor Club has kept true to those words. Staying active, giving back to the community, and practicing the arts has been a staple in the club’s recreation.
When I first spoke to club president Pat Crotts, I thought she was running a clandestine operation in the old Kernersville library’s basement. The club has no online presence, but it turns out the meetings are not top-secret, you just have to be in the know. Thirty-six members, plus friends, meet every Wednesday from 1-3pm in the Senior Enrichment Center, located at 130 East Mountain Street, Kernersville.
Pat explained, “Many people have told us that they were not even aware this club is available to them. So this year we have focused on getting the word out as a senior group. We felt the need to reach out to other seniors and to those who love art and want an opportunity to learn something new. Anyone who is interested in being an encouragement to others is welcome. With the growth of our town, and new people moving to our area, it is something to get excited about.”
The Four Seasons Watercolor Club formed in 2014 as an idea from Dave Idol, the club’s former art teacher. He and Pat worked together to organize a group of active people who wanted to create. It started with four members and has grown into 36, with at least 20 participating in their newest endeavor. Pat and fellow members spent the last few months preparing for their big exhibit “A stroll through our town in watercolor.” This is currently open to the public at the Paddison Memorial Branch, the new Kernersville library, located at 248 Harmon Lane. It will run through February. “You don’t realize when admiring the art that it was painted by a senior. It is amazing how they come in with their little walkers and oxygen masks and they are turning out beautiful paintings. I have a painting of the botanical gate, the caboose, bronze statue, and the girl and boy on the bench. I am so proud of them. They truly are fabulous,” Pat explained.
All are invited to view their masterpieces, and even take a few home. The group is now lead by artist Bruce Fletcher who teaches watercolor classes over a 6-week period for $35. Another perk is that the art does not go unnoticed. Every three months, the paintings are rotated around Kernersville. Currently, they are hung in three medical facilities, restaurants, businesses, and pop up in events throughout the year.
Not only is art food for the soul… the paintings are locally made, good quality, and with a competitive price. Not to mention by purchasing a painting you are supporting the senior club and one of their chosen beneficiaries. Last year the club raised $700 for 35 underprivileged children to go on a field trip to Carowinds, the zoo, and to indulge in a pizza party. The Four Seasons Watercolor Club also gave a portion of their funds to help cover cat-spaying costs and rescue animals.
The Four Seasons Watercolor Club’s art can also be found around town in Whit’s Frozen Custard, Whiskers and Waffles,
and the Kernersville Medical Center. “We have had really good support from the community. People have bought our paintings and it is such an encouragement to the seniors. It is really a great experience for everyone,” Pat added. And 2019 will see more on the way. The Four Seasons Watercolor Club is participating in two large shows coming this spring and fall. One will be held at Rivers Landing in March, April, and May. The next at Pennybyrn at Maryfield during August, September, and October. Pat said she is looking forward to the adventures ahead and excited for all new members who will join this year.
For more information, give the Senior Center a call at 336.992.3180 or stop by on Wednesdays from 1-3pm at 130 East Mountain Street, Kernersville. The meetings are located in the basement and are open to the public with yearly dues of $32 for those who wish to join the activities. Watercolor classes go year-round for a duration of 6 weeks for a fee of $35.