Lodge residents display artistic side

MIDDLEBURY-Residents of the Lodge at Otter Creek in Middlebury are displaying sides of their lives rarely seen in public-their artistic sides. And judging by the resident art on display in this upscale retirement facility, the Lodge seems to have an abundant resource of dynamic talent-all in their 80s and 90s.

Paige Larson, director of activities at the Lodge, thought a resident and staff art exhibit was a good idea when it was first proposed by resident and artist Jo Birnbaum.

The idea was to approach various artists living at the Lodge and ask them to donate (or create) artwork for the public display. Next, display areas were set up in the lobby, common room and social areas to permit easy access; walker- and wheelchair-bound residents can get in close and enjoy the art.

"The response to this community exhibit turned out to be overwhelming," said Larson.

Residents entered a variety of work in the exhibit, which has all the appearances of an upscale urban gallery-from paintings to photography, sculpture to woodware, and needlepoint to stained glass-and everything in between.

One Lodge staffer, medical technician Daniel Hamilton, entered an unusual piece-a finely detailed nature scene etched on the underside of a cap of a giant tree mushroom.

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"I was pleasantly surprised by all the entries," said Larson. "We're very proud of the residents. Their work is accomplished, beautiful. These Lodge resident are true artists in every sense of the word."

Larson said the display opened two weeks ago and was scheduled to close last week, but now there's a good chance it will be extended-and the public is invited to view it.

For younger artists living around AddisonCounty, it's worth a visit to the Lodge exhibit if only to study the rich legacy of this local group of "Greatest Generation" artists.

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