Dolly Michalczyk, the March Artist of the Month at the Dunmore Activity Hub, has enjoyed art appreciation, drawing and sketching since her youth. Two of her favorite memories are Impressionist Art tours in Paris and Provence, France, with her husband, Joe.
Dolly says that she was always afraid of the permanence of oil painting until encouraged by painter Mary Ann McClenaghan to begin painting at the Dunmore Senior Center.
Under the direction of teacher Jill Swersie, she learned that “you can always paint over it” and correct mistakes when using oils. She has been painting with the group since her retirement from social work in 2009, and has participated in many First Fridays, art shows and exhibitions–even selling a few of her paintings!
Dolly says, “Jill’s knowledge and guidance are key to the program, but her support and friendship is an added bonus. Her phone calls, cheery hand-drawn get well cards and posters of her artists, signed by members of the class have nurtured many through surgeries, illnesses, and hard times.”
Through the class, Dolly has made many new friends and reunited with old ones–even long lost pals from South Scranton Junior High School who moved from the area many years ago, Jan Mountford Lauer and Mary K. Massenkeil White.
This is the fourth year of this column featuring local artists and art which Dolly originated, at the suggestion of fellow painter Joe Bartos. Dolly schedules the artists, based on their longevity in the class, collects and edits their data, often writing their stories and even photographing them, before submitting their information to the Dunmorean.
Dolly’s travels and her family serve as constant sources of inspiration and pride, particularly her grandchildren, Maura, Joel, and Kara Dolly is thankful to Alison Boga, executive director of the Dunmore Senior Center for all she does for the group, Jill Swersie for her talent, insight, and encouragement, and to Maureen Hart, editor of the Dunmorean, for her interest and support in printing this feature.
Seniors are invited to Jill’s sketching class at noon on Mondays and to her oil painting class at 1 p.m. at the Dunmore Center.