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In February 2014 PWS was contacted by the Windy Hill Senior Center, Spring Grove, PA, seeking our advice in setting up some beginning watercolor classes for the center. Windy Hill is located just outside Spring Grove, PA, in York County, PA. The center is physically located on the Spring Grove School District campus in an elementary school building no longer used by the district. The building itself, built sometime in the 1980s, is in remarkable shape and well maintained.

Membership Chairman, Virginia Walker, and I visited the center in late February and met with the Executive Director, Tammy Miller, and Activities Director, Alexander Harrington, to discuss their desire to offer some beginning watercolor classes for the center. We were given a complete tour of the facility after which we met for quite some time in their art room to discuss the center’s artistic needs. Basically what was desired was someone from PWS to act as instructors for the classes. I suggested to them that I would work up a plan for a beginning watercolor class for no more than a dozen students, determine what materials and supplies would be needed and their costs, and present the plan to the PWS Board for their consideration.

At the next PWS Board meeting, the Board approved the plan for setting up beginning watercolor classes for the Windy Hill Senior Center and provided $500 funding to purchase the needed supplies. I then set about ordering the supplies and setting up the classes. We decided to start the process with a painting demonstration on May 1, 2014, followed by classes on May 20, 2014, and June 10 and 24, 2014. The Painting Demonstration went well with approximately 30-40 persons in attendance. At the completion of the demonstration I awarded the painting to one of the attendees.

My initial thought on providing class instructors was to solicit PWS volunteers who would agree to teach one class as guest instructors, but this idea has not caught on yet. I thought that perhaps any PWS member who has taught classes or who would like to try their hand at it might have a favorite lesson they would share with the class. Any PWS member who would like to help in this way should contact me and I will make the arrangements.

Currently I am handling the instructor duties. An even dozen students attended the beginning watercolor instruction. Our first meeting was on May 10, 2014. With the PWS funding I was able to purchase paints, palettes, paper, brushes, color wheels, spray bottles and other basic essentials. I started the instruction demonstrating and discussing the basic tools of the watercolor artist by giving the students some hands on experience in watercolor. The two hour class period went quickly and we ran out of time before we finished our first painting.

This is a great opportunity for PWS to promote watercolor painting and provide some excellent community service. Our involvement in this project has appeared in all the recent Windy Hill Senior Center newsletters. This is helping to provide some much needed PWS publicity which is often hard to come by. Again, if you would like to appear as a guest instructor, please let me know!

John W. Walker, President
Pennsylvania Watercolor Society

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