By Lauren Schiavone
Hometown Weekly Staff
The Westwood Public Library is a hub of creativity. Children and adults alike mill about in their free time, finding books that interest them and topics that inspire.
The library, though, is also known to have a myriad of offerings for those who seek creativity beyond the bookshelves -- and to that end, the space is currently hosting a gallery of artwork by Westwood seniors.
Currently, the WPL is home to “Lessons in Fine Art, an Eclectic Collection of Drawings and Paintings.” The exhibit is centered around the observation, interpretation, and representation of a subject in two-dimensional media. Varied work from students over the past year decorate the common space in the library.
Art instructor Brenda Goldman is no stranger to the Westwood Public Library. Goldman and her students from the Council on Aging have had displays adorn the walls previously with Sunflowers for Ukraine and watercolor exhibits.
Aiming for realism, a panel of Goldman’s own work melds with that of her students. Photorealistic, intricate watercolor paintings and graphite drawings inspire library patrons as they take a break at tables to study. “The contrasts are what really make a photo pop and become three-dimensional. I try to get that across with my students, to consider the same attributes, especially when working with graphite,” Goldman shares. She is also flattered when she receives positive comments of disbelief when viewers of her work realize that the medium is, in fact, watercolor -- and it has more detail and focus than abstract work.
Seniors follow suit and find what works for them, using Goldman’s teachings as a jumping-off point. Even the same subjects differ once each artist works on their own pieces, and that’s the beauty of it.
It’s evident that Goldman and her class have a mutual joy for the work they do, as well as the companionship the class offers. Autumn leaf paintings and still-lifes of pumpkins and gourds are recent additions from class that can be seen in graphite drawings.
Seniors draw and paint with mostly little to no prior experience, an theyd keep coming back to class for more. Why? “Students can relieve their stress and get into a different world and a different mindset," Goldman mused. "It’s therapeutic for people. It’s not just keeping their mind active, which it is. We have to figure out angles and techniques, but it takes them into a new world where they don’t have to focus on other everyday stuff.”
She recounts a particularly thoughtful email she received in which a student thanked her for the class. “Because of my class," she recalled, "they were able to observe the things around her in a new way. It made me feel good knowing that they carried through what they learned in class to other areas of their life.”
Brenda Goldman teaches drawing on Tuesdays from 10-12 and watercolor on Tuesdays from 1-3, both at the Council on Aging. She also offers beginning drawing lessons, private lessons, and has begun teaching in Holliston, as well.