Artist of the Month: Jean Mountford

artist

Jean Mountford is shown with her featured painting entitled “Punta Cana.” It is inspired by a photo of macaws she took when she was in the Dominican Republic for her niece’s wedding.

Jean Mountford of Scranton has been selected as Artist of the Month at the Dunmore Activity Hub.

Jean started painting decades ago in acrylics, garden painting, and then tole painting. She eventually progressed to landscapes. “I’ve been working with oil for just over six years,” she says. “I love the depth and richness you can attain with oil paint.

Jean has been painting with the class at the Dunmore Activity Hub since late 2010 when she started going to the art class with her sister, who is Jan Lauer, April’s Artist of the Month.

She finds her inspiration from photos, plus a huge assortment of pictures in the instructor’s storage library.

“Sometimes I drive by a scene and try to recreate it,” she explains. “Or I see a picture in a calendar or online and get inspired to put my touch on it.”

Her featured painting, entitled “Punta Cana,” was inspired by a photo of macaws Jean took when she was in the Dominican Republican for her niece’s wedding.

“I simplified the background a bit to highlight the macaws, who posed so beautifully on a wooden railing,” she says.

As for the painting class, Jean points out, “We have so much talent in the class. It’s great to get the support and inspiration from the other members. And, of course, Jill Swersie, our instructor, is a true talent and so helpful with her ideas and support.”

Jean also mentions, “The new director is great and very welcoming. There’s a lot of room for us to spread our wings.

“The music during class makes it relaxing, and I truly believe the art class is very therapeutic.”

The center occasionally hosts an art show, allowing artists to display and possibly sell their paintings. Many other programs are available at the center, including ballroom dancing and tai chi, which were presented at the art show held last October.

 

Artist of the Month: Dolores Noll

doloresDolores Dominick-Noll of Scott Township has been name Artist of the Month at the Dunmore Activity Hub.

Her featured painting is titled “Homestead,” and depicts the home where her children grew up. Her daughter and her family now reside in the home.

Dolores began painting about five or six years ago at the Dunmore Activity Center.

“I had never painted before and didn’t think I had any talent in that direction,” Dolores explains. “I’m still very much an amateur, but Jill Swerzie, our instructor, has prodded me along.”

Dolores says the other class member are very supportive and friendly. “It’s a joy to be there,” she

adds. “As well as having a wonderful teacher, I have learned a lot from my fellow students.”

painting

“Homestead” depicts Artist of the Month Dolores Noll’s childhood home.

As far as inspiration, the artists says her paintings are very personal. “I have painted the houses of several members of my family and friends, as well as landscapes,” she reveals. “But I still have not mastered faces.”

Mrs. Dominick-Noll finds the Hub welcoming and accommodating to everyone’s needs. “In addition to hosting our classes, the space is made available for our parties and exhibits, and there is plenty of parking,” she points out.

Dunmorean of the Month: Alison Boga

 

dunmorean-of-the-month-alison-bogaBy Steve Svetovich

Alison Boga has always had an affection for senior citizens.

So it is not surprising when she accepted the position of executive director at the Dunmore Senior Center, 1414 Monroe Ave., Dunmore, this past December.

And the transition has been an easy one.

Daughter of Alice and the late William Boga, Alison succeeded long time Dunmore Senior Center executive director Jeanne Hugenbruch.

Boga worked under the highly respected Hugenbruch as activities coordinator at the Dunmore Senior Center from 2002 to 2007. She was an active volunteer at the Dunmore Senior Center until her recent appointment as executive director.

Boga, who graduated from West Scranton High School and attended Penn State University, has always found it rewarding working with senior citizens.

She worked as administrator of Amos Towers, Scranton, from 1995 to 2002.

“I have always gravitated towards senior citizens,” she said. “They are a lot of fun. I love to hear their stories and about what they did when they were young.”

Boga, who was a member of the marching band and orchestra in high school, worked as a financial assistant administrator for the Girl Scouts of America from 2007 through 2016 until her recent appointment.

She sees both old and new faces at the Dunmore Senior Center, also known as the Dunmore Activity Hub. “It is fun to be back here. A lot of people, sadly, are no longer with us. However, I do see a lot of familiar faces. I do love the new people and already feel like I formed a bond with them. It’s nice.”

The new executive director said she has many hobbies, including reading, gardening, the environment and running. She completed three straight Steamtown Marathons from 1999-2001. She also participated in numerous 5K runs.

She was co-chairperson of Scranton’s First Night in 2007. She ran the Senior Bingo in the second annual First Night and was an active volunteer from that point until the final First Night in 2016.

Boga was selected as Northeast Woman in November 2008.

She is looking forward to upcoming events at the Dunmore Senior Center, including the second annual Weekend of Arts Festival to be held October 13-14. The big event will be preceded by Purse Bingo October 1.

Another big event, said Boga, is the annual Pasta Dinner, May 11.

“The Weekend of Arts Festival was very successful last year and we are looking forward to it again.”

She is also looking forward to Summer Demo Days at the Dunmore Senior Center. “Members can try a number of different classes for free. They can try classes like Tai Chi or Oil Painting. There will be many options.”

She talked about the future of the Dunmore Senior Center. “The Baby Boomers are coming and they have a lot to offer. We want this to be the go to place for seniors. It is for seniors who want to learn and be innovative and progressive.”

There are currently 350 paid members of the Dunmore Senior Center.

Alison, who enjoys all kinds of music except country, said she always has been around seniors.

“I was always with my parents and around older people. It is just natural for me to be with older people. And I always found them interesting. I feel a certain bond with them. I honestly love being around them.”

Artist of the Month: Kenneth Lewis

Ken Lewis

Kenneth G. Lewis, Ph.D., with his painting entitled “Little Joe Escaping from the Zoo.”

Kenneth G. Lewis, Ph.D., of Dunmore, is the Dunmore Activity Hub Artist of the Month for July. Lewis, who started painting when he first started school, has found his artistic inspiration from real life. He initially began painting with the Senior Citizen group at their Chestnut Street location for about a year, then moved over to the present location at the Dunmore Community Center.

His featured painting is entitled “Little Joe Escaping from the Zoo.” As background, Ken explains, “In approximately 2003, a zoo in a small town near Boston purchased a gorilla from the Bronx Zoo in New York City. The gorilla was about 15 years old, larger than normal, very curious, and extremely energetic. He was named ‘Little Joe.’”

One morning Dr. Lewis was watching a nationwide news program and heard the newscaster say that a gorilla had escaped from a zoo in Massachusetts, and a short time later was spotted at the bus stop about two miles away.

“The zoo employees quickly captured Little Joe and stood with him as he watched the commotion on the bus,” Ken explains. “The passengers were concerned because the gorilla had tried to board the bus. It was announced later than Little Joe escaped a second time, going to the same bus stop, and so the zoo made the fence higher!”

Dr. Lewis described the painting class as a good group of people, and adds, “We are fortunate to have a facility like the Dunmore Activity Hub. We have a large parking lot, the building is big enough for several groups to use at the same time, the kitchen is well-equipped, the location is convenient, and we have adequate storage space for our paints, canvases and equipment.”