2014 Campus News: Spotlight on Creativity

2014 Campus News: Spotlight on Creativity

Ring House features resident artwork at its 25th anniversary celebration

ring 25 part 1Ring House art specialist Deborah Rittenhouse has a passion: to generate creativity in residents, ages 60 to 100, who flock to her classes in the cozy terrace-level art room. The walls are covered with assorted art pieces and every surface is hidden under piles of books and supplies. But what provides energy to the setting is the excitement that students experience and respect they feel for their teacher. “Deborah is magnificent,” says sculptor Marilyn Simon.

Rittenhouse organized the 25th Ring House Anniversary Art Exhibit in November, 2014, to showcase what residents have achieved through experimentation in diverse media. In addition to collage, pastel, watercolor, mosaics, sculpture, prints, and photography, there were unusual works such as painting on glass, digitally-manipulated graphics, and petit point embroidery.

One remarkable piece on display was created in 1964 by resident-artist Selma Hurwitz. She is credited with employing a new art medium, Hadbakah, that defies placement in a conventional category. Hadbakah is glued-thread painting; the word is Hebrew for “gluing.

Seniors discover, take chances, and share with others in the community,” explains Rittenhouse. “The classes and lectures offered here and the many trips to galleries and museums that we organize inspire, challenge, and support creative possibilities for all Ring House residents.

Rittenhouse thanks the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington for its lifelong learning opportunities and on-site lectures, C&T Youth Academy for technology assistance offered by their students, and the Jewish Cultural Arts Program at George Washington University for graduate student placement.

Here is how some of Ring House artists describe their motivation:

Marilyn Simon Marilyn Simon. Sculptor
Marilyn Simon, Ring House resident and sculptor
"I feel alive when my inner spirit flows through my fingers."

Sylvia Berkowitz Berkowitz Tapistry
Sylvia Berkowitz
"I like working with my hands! I also enjoy selecting a variety of color combinations."

Rose Grossman Ross Grossman's Q-Tip Painting
Rose Grossman
"I create to express my inner feelings by composing something pleasing to the eye."

Pearl O. Krepchin Pearl O. Krepdschin. Explosion
Pearl O. Krepchin
"I create because I enjoy seeing the results. I get positive feedback when others look at my paintings."

Joyce Lyman Lyman Tapestry
Joyce Lyman
“I used over 200 colors and spent over two years on this petit-point tapestry."

Mollie Leventhal Mollie Leventhal's Birds on Glass
Mollie Leventhal
“I'm doing more art than I've ever done in my whole life. I never knew I had so much talent."


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