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From artist to teacher
Weekly art classes at Gulf Rise are unlocking hidden talents for a group of creative residents.
Each Wednesday, a handful of aspiring artists congregate in the Pavilion at Gulf Rise using pencils, paint and paper to bring their visions to life. The brainchild of village resident and accomplished painter June Lamont, the new classes have taken on a creative direction of their own.
“My original idea was to get a few people who already painted together, so we could practice in company – but no one who turned up had painted before, so I’ve somehow become an art teacher,” laughs June.
Fortunately, she loves it!
“It’s been great. Getting involved is the best way to meet people and I’m constantly amazed at how many residents have such interesting backgrounds.”
June teaches students about observation, light and shade, and colour and inspires them with ideas of what to paint, and how to paint it.
“I try to make it fun and not too serious. They love it, and really look forward to the classes. Finishing an artwork creates such a sense of achievement and painting also exercises the brain because you have to look at things in a different way to interpret them on paper.”
June has dabbled in art since childhood but didn’t develop a serious practice until in her forties. Since then she has successfully exhibited and sold her work and been a valued member of local painting groups and art centres.
Heartwarming pen pal story hits the headlines
During the Covid19 lockdown, Gulf Rise Sales Executive Michelle Pipping came up with a brilliant plan to connect residents of the village with local kids in the community, and keep her 6-year old, Holly, busy at the same time.
With Holly’s help, she organised for more than 60 children from the local community to write letters and draw pictures for residents at Gulf Rise and neighbouring Hibiscus Coast Village.
Pat Jeffries, who lives at Gulf Rise, was thrilled to be paired up with pen pal Holly. They exchanged letters and bonded over their love of cats. The whole experience had been “just lovely” according Pat, 78, “it gave me a great deal of warmth and pleasure.”
Many residents are still in touch with their pen pals, with plans for a meet up event where the kids can meet their pen pals in person in the pipeline now restrictions have lifted.
The story also hit the headlines, featuring on the Stuff.co.nz website during lockdown.
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