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An appetite for art

Tallgrass Creek caters to artists new and old

Created date

April 24th, 2012

Helen Zuber has been painting for decades. She began as what she calls a Sunday painter. About 40 years ago, she started taking painting lessons, and she s never stopped. A little more than three years ago, Helen moved from the Kansas City area to Tallgrass Creek, in Overland Park, Kans. Since moving to the Erickson Living community, Helen has not only been able to keep up her own oil painting, but she s also had the opportunity to help her friends and neighbors develop and in some cases, discover their own artistic talents.

Artists working side by side

Helen serves as chair of the art club at Tallgrass Creek, which boasts a sunny on-site arts and crafts studio where painters and other artists can spread out and work on projects alongside friends. Helen says the art club hosts a variety of activities that cater to people of all skill levels. On Friday afternoons, the art studio is open for people to drop in and paint or draw at their leisure. A few months ago, the club organized a workshop for people who had never painted before to learn the basics. They all had a good time, Helen says of the event. And everyone left with a nine-by-twelve-[inch] canvas [painting].

Developing and discovering talents

The art club s popular five-week classes run throughout the year. Alysia Quisenberry Metcalf, whose husband s grandmother lives at Tallgrass Creek, currently teaches the courses. Quisenberry Metcalf studied painting at Gordon College and taught art in the Blue Valley School District before coming to Tallgrass Creek. At the beginning of each session, she gives a demonstration on a different technique and then she spends the rest of the class giving each artist one-on-one instruction and feedback. I love it, she says. It s cool to see people try something new and discover a talent. Tallgrass Creek community member Norma Schonwetter also belongs to the art club and works in oil paints. She has been painting for 40 years, but she says being a member of Tallgrass Creek s art club helps her continue to perfect her craft. We pick up things from each other when we re working in the [art] studio together, Norma says.