Embracing Creativity: Art Classes at PVN

At Presbyterian Village North (PVN), the sense of community creativity and engagement is palpable. This already vibrant atmosphere has recently been enriched by the addition of the PVN Creative Arts Center spearheaded by resident Pam Southern. Click here to learn about Pam’s vision and the collective effort of the community to create this vibrant hub for artistic expression.

“It not only made my day to see the excitement and interest from the participants on Saturday at the first watercolor class, it made me feel like my persistence in promoting the need and value for a place for art and artists at PVN will prove to be a wonderful source of pride for each of us living here.” Pam said.

Following several successful art shows in the new space, residents expressed a desire to expand their knowledge and skills. As a result, three art classes were added to the Community Life schedule for interested residents to enjoy. These classes, led by Robbie Zeske, daughter of PVN residents Larry and Murlyn Zeske, who has always sought ways to connect with and contribute to the community that means so much to her parents, volunteered to lead the charge. Robbie brought her expertise and enthusiasm to the residents of PVN by creating an opportunity for creativity and connection as she shared her lifelong passion for teaching and deep love for art with the resident artists.

Watercolor Workshops

Robbie’s three-part art class series, launched on Saturday, May 18, and introduced residents to the versatile and expressive medium of watercolors. Each session will focus on different skills and techniques, ensuring that participants gain a comprehensive understanding of watercolor painting.

  • Session 1 (May 18): The first class delved into the basics of color creation and mixing, as well as exploring color intensity or values. The 17 residents in attendance learned how to harness the flexibility and limitations of watercolors to bring their visions to life.
  • Session 2 (May 25): The second class will focus on techniques for manipulating and controlling watercolors. Robbie will guide residents through various methods to achieve desired effects, enhancing their artistic repertoire.
  • Session 3 (June 8): The final class in the series will teach how to use watercolors to create intricate details. Participants will apply their newfound skills to create a landscape, culminating in a beautiful, personal piece of art.

A Collaborative Experience

Robbie is eager to collaborate with PVN residents, who bring a wealth of life experiences, education and artistic backgrounds to the classes. She recognizes that many attendees have prior experience with different art forms, even if they may be new to watercolors. This dynamic helps create a rich environment for mutual learning and growth.

“I try to learn something new every day.” said Jim Cress, PVN resident and class participant, when asked why he chose to spend his Saturday in class. Jim elected to use a photo he took of the PVN pond and fountain as his inspiration for his landscape painting.

Prepared to provide a smooth and enjoyable class experience, Robbie’s assistant, Dallas, helped ensure easy access to supplies and water sources, and additional instruction throughout the session. Her goal is to create an environment where residents can fully immerse themselves in the joy of watercolor painting while interacting with each participant.

Looking Ahead

In Robbie’s words, “Hopefully, the few Saturday afternoons we spend together learning about the joy of watercolors will be a happy, productive experience, and the program will be so successful that we will get to spend even more time together learning and sharing.” Through these art classes, Robbie aims to foster a deeper sense of community and creativity at PVN, enriching the lives of residents and building lasting connections.

About Art Instructor, Robbie Zeske

Robbie Zeske’s journey as an educator spans several decades and various age groups. She began her career teaching preschoolers, then moving to elementary and high school students through the years. For twenty years, she imparted knowledge and fostered creativity in Dallas’s education system. After retiring just before the COVID-19 pandemic, Robbie moved to Belize, where she dedicated her time to creating art for both pleasure and sale.

Upon returning to the United States, she found a new artistic home in a vibrant community of artists at the Goldmark Cultural Center. There, she rekindled her passion for creating art, surrounded by like-minded individuals. With dreams of hosting her first solo exhibition in 2025, Robbie continues to immerse herself in the world of art.