Making friends over art at the Edmonds Senior Center

Ruth Barth, the "No Fear Art" instructor.
Ruth Barth, the “No Fear Art” instructor.

There are so many equations for friendship. Many friendships develop among college acquaintances that follow each other through life; we meet friends through our children’s academic experiences, but over and over again, here in Edmonds, I see friendships that blossom because of the arts.

I recently met a woman at a friend’s 60th birthday party with whom I felt an instant connection. What a delightful surprise when I learned that, like myself, she lived in Edmonds. Before we parted for the evening I had exchanged phone numbers with Liz Nelson and she had invited me to drop in on an art class that she was taking – at Edmonds Senior Center.

Of course I said, “Yes!” and this past Monday I found myself among five women totally devoted to each other – because of art. The class turned out to be “Torn Paper Mosaics”, one of four art classes taught by Ruth Barth under the No Fear Art banner. Other classes taught by Ruth at the Edmonds Senior Center include “No Fear Drawing”, “No Fear Portraits”, and “No Fear Watercolor”. As a stick-person artist I appreciate the “No Fear” element that Ruth incorporates into the theme of her classes.

Mary McDonald with her art.
Mary McDonald with her art.

The art studio participants literally cheered when Ruth arrived for class. Everyone was excited for Ruth to see the framed work of student Mary McDonald.

Joining Mary at the Edmonds Senior Center each Monday at 10 a.m. to chat, share life experiences, and turn out incredible art pieces are Peggy Ford, my new friend Liz, and Jackie Schwartz. Jackie, who drives from south Everett every week to work on her mosaics and see how her four friends are doing, has been enrolled in the “No Fear Art” series for the past two-and-a-half years.

It was fascinating to hear the five women ask about each other’s families, share their life histories, and laugh over incidents that took place at their places of work – like the time Mary (who worked for one of the Northwest’s family-owned businesses) had to stall paying two on-the-lam mill workers who had been discovered by the sheriff who sped to her office in order to nab them before they got out of town!

It’s easy to understand why one would come back to an art class week after week once friendships are developed; but what draws one to a “No Fear” art class in the first place? Peggy Ford explained, “It is such a great way to keep up” with what is happening in art. She then offered, “I’ve always loved art, and “dabbled” over the years. But I have fallen in love with torn paper mosaics.”

Whether your passion is mosaics, drawing, painting, or watercolors the Edmonds Senior Center is one of our city’s little jewels when it comes to art + friendship.

Interested in taking an art class at Edmonds Senior Center? Visit their website or call the senior center at 425-774-5555.

— By Emily Hill


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