Life long learners display art

Freddy Hernandez and Sunshine Velasco

Pieces of art that transcend any age gap were on display at the campus gallery by Encore/Oasis students Saturday.

Nude portraits, a tribute to American painter Georgia O’Keeffe and an abstract sculpture made out of material called “gatorboard” were among the many styles featured, each with its own distinct persona and feeling.

Brent Kirkwood did a portrait comprised entirely of dots using a method of painting known as pointillism.

He said he did it “One dot at a time by hand.”

The end result of Kirkwood’s efforts is an an image of a woman wearing a hat and staring out at the viewer.

Upon closer inspection, the individual pricks that make up the whole are visible to the naked eye.

Kirkwood uses pointillism as a form of therapy for his left hand which was injured in an accident that caused him to lose use in 70 percent of his hand.

“I felt useless,” he said. “Since my accident, I felt I haven’t been able to accomplish many things.”

Now however, Kirkwood said he gets a sense of achievement whenever he’s done with one of his paintings.

“It gives me back my self-respect after losing the use of my arm,” he said. “It makes me feel good.”

Lila Okamura, 62, did the homage to O’Keeffe. “My tribute to Georgia,” she called it.

It is an acrylic painting with a flower made out of embroidered fabric and wire, layered over the canvas thus giving it a raised effect.

Okamura call the process of making the flower and attaching it, “stump work.”

She said this was her first acrylic as well as her first exhibition.

She added that she used to paint when her children were younger, but had to stop because raising them took up most of her time.

Okamura’s interest in art remained with her throughout the course of her life and because she has more time to herself now that her children are older, she has taken up painting once again.

Monroe Mendelsohn, 82, does abstract wall sculptures.

He started out using plywood and he realized that it was too heavy and hard to cut, so he switched over to gatorboard instead.

It has a core of foam in the center and is laminated.

Mendelsohn has been doing sculptures for 14 years and used to own an art gallery in Century City.

He’s been enrolled in the Encore program for about seven weeks.

“Reclining Peggy” and “Untitled” were the names of the only two nude portraits in the show.

Both were drawn on charcoal paper, with the former being colored over with pastel first. They were done by Yona Rapoport.

Rapoport, 60, used live models and said she likes the expressions and movements they evoke.

Leonardo Da Vinci and Michaelangelo Buonarroti are two of her biggest influences.

She’s been enrolled in Encore/Oasis for about a year and a half.

Those looking to purchase Rapoport’s portraits need not bother.

She never sells because she is very attached to her work, saying it was as if they were a part of her soul.

The Encore Art Exhibit will be showing until tomorrow from noon to 5 p.m. Gallery hours are Monday and Thursday, noon to 5 p.m.

For more information contact Mary Oliver at (818) 719-6498.

Monroe Mendelsohn 82, displayed his acrylic on canvas 24×30 abstract painting, “Life on an unknown planet in a far off universe,” at the ENCORE Art Show, at the Pierce College art gallery Oct. 21. ()

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