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Art at the heart

Exhibit showcases 17 artists at Cedar Crest

Created date

November 20th, 2012

Woodturning, an age-old art form used to create stunning bowls, vases, lamps, and other intricate wooden objects, draws collectors from around the world. Some will pay upwards of $10,000 for a woodturned piece. Alfred Schwarz has been a woodturner for most of his life, 50 to 60 years, he says. Throughout his lifetime, he s created hundreds of wooden artworks, but he s never sold a single one despite the attractive price tag. I strictly do it for fun, he says. I ve given a lot away, and I have a small exhibit here in my apartment. Alfred moved to Cedar Crest, an Erickson Living community in Pompton Plains, N.J., about a year ago from Parsippany. His home in Parsippany housed extensive woodturning facilities his basement and garage were full of equipment, and he had a small sawmill in his backyard. But surprisingly, he didn t have to give it all up when he moved to Cedar Crest. In fact, he was able to downsize and make his life less complicated while still allowing room for his artwork. He transformed his apartment home s second bedroom into a workshop where he continues to create beautiful wooden objects from found wood. One piece, a lamp, he created from a shag-bark birch tree that had fallen during a storm at Cedar Crest last fall. He exhibited several pieces at the community s Many Works of Art exhibit in July. I showed 20 or so pieces some I brought here from Parsippany and some I had made here, he says. I just wanted to show people what was out there in terms of woodturning.

Combining art and travel

Seventeen other artists joined Alfred in the art exhibit. From watercolorists to carvers to photographers and more, Cedar Crest is home to a plethora of artists. Joyce Osthus, a watercolorist who moved here in 2007 from Westchester County, N.Y., only started painting when she came to Cedar Crest. I did a little bit as a teen and over the years, but it s only since I moved here that I picked it up again, she says. She had attended a sketching class at the community, where some of the other participants were painting watercolors. I joined them and have been doing it ever since, she explains. Joyce combines her love of watercolor with her love of travel. She and her husband take at least one trip every year to faraway places such as Vietnam, Guatemala, and the Dalmatian Coast, in Croatia. Many of my paintings are of my travels a lot of market scenes in different countries, she says. I take photographs that jog my memory, and I also work from memories. Joyce showed nine paintings in the July exhibit, which is a yearly production. Several of her pieces decorate the walls in her two-bedroom apartment home.

Exploring new creative outlets

Betty Driver, also a painter who exhibited in the show, has taken a different approach to her creative side. A lifelong painter, Betty decided to explore other creative outlets when she moved to Cedar Crest almost four years ago. Living at Cedar Crest, my creativity can carry on in many ways, sharing my gifts to celebrate life, which is our motto, she says. I ve gotten so involved in so many other wonderful creative things that I haven t taken up painting again, she says. Betty sings in the choir and chorale, and she attends the memoir-writing class, for which she has written two memoirs each month for the three and a half years she s lived at Cedar Crest. Cedar Crest is my paradise, she says. There are so many things here to keep us living life to the fullest.