By Christy Porter, Managing Editor
Local artist Ellen Reynolds won two placements in the Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America (PMMA) “Art is Ageless” competition held in March of this year. Reynolds entered her artwork through Rolla Presbyterian Manor. The juried masterpiece competition received more than 160 entries this year from 15 PMMA communities and included both professional and amateur categories.
Reynolds won Best of Show with a landscape oil painting titled “Panama 1,” which appears on June 2021 of the 40th anniversary calendar. A black and white charcoal on brown paper, titled “Wild Sunflower” won First Place Drawing and will be used by PMMA as a greeting card. Artwork by Reynolds has won in previous competitions and has been selected for the calendar in the past.
“Beauty for Ashes,” a mixed media/crafts piece by local artist Sophia deLaat, was selected for a greeting card this year. DeLaat is also a previous winner in the Art is Ageless competition, joining other local artists Kerry Hansen, Margie Moll and the late Russ Biros.
Art is Ageless is a non-profit PMMA program which began in 1981. The program recognizes the creativity of seniors and includes arts programming, educational opportunities and attendance at cultural events, the art competition and a yearly calendar. In 2006, the competition and calendar expanded to include area artists, age 65 and older. Creative endeavors include but are not inclusive to culinary arts, writing, painting, drawing, jewelry making, craft projects, music and theater.
PMMA’s mission to provide quality senior services guided by Christian values encompasses all aspects of health – physical, mental, social, emotional, environmental, occupational, spiritual and educational. The Art is Ageless program contributes benefits to many of these aspects, increasing self-esteem, reducing depression, improving memory, promoting critical thinking, playfulness, a sense of control, nurturing spirituality and building friendships.