Artist of the Month: Dolly Michalczyk

Artist Dolly Michalczyk

Dolly Michalczyk has often been inspired by her travels and by her grandchildren, Maura, Joel, and Kara. Here she poses with some of their paintings, shown clockwise: The Wedding-Italy 2016; Sugarplum Fairies, Ships Ahoy, We Are Family; First Recital, Kara; All-Star Joel, and Beach Baby Maura.

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.  


Artist of the Month: Joe Bartos

Artist Joe Bartos

Joe Bartos, February Artist of the Month at Dunmore Activity Hub, poses with some of unique creations.

Dunmorean Joe Bartos is the Artist of the Month at the Dunmore Activity Hub for February.

Bartos’ oil paintings are diverse, warm, and colorful.  He enjoys painting people, places, and natural beauty.

His featured paintings arec include “El Torro”, “Hallmark Lovers”, “Pink Lady”, and “Walkin’ in the Rain”.

Joe has been painting since 2006, and joined the painting class at the Dunmore Senior Center in 2008.  

He has learned a great deal in the class and enjoys the socialization, particularly the annual summer picnic and the Christmas Party.  His paintings are regularly exhibited at the Senior Center’s onsite art show and in its First Friday displays.

Joe’s specialties include lifelike realism and special effects.  

“The richer and brighter the painting, the better,” is his philosophy.

For information on the center and art classes taught by Jill Swersie contact: Alison Boga, Executive Director, 207-2662 ext. 2.

Artist of the Month: Jill Swersie


Dunmore Senior Center’s art teacher, Jill Swersie, is featured as Artist of the Years this month.

We are proud to feature the Dunmore Senior Center’s art teacher, Jill Swersie, this month and as our favorite Artist of the Years!  Jill teaches weekly oil painting classes at the Dunmore Senior Citizen Center.

In addition to her talent and artistic credits, Jill is a very special person. She comes to class early and stays late and provides an additional drawing class, at no charge. She is constantly offering the Center exposure to additional media like charcoal, watercolor, sculpture, scratchboard, etc.  

Jill personally connects to all of the students and is well aware of the trials and tribulations in their lives.  She reaches out to her students in need with personal phone calls, handmade cards and greetings signed by class members, and follows up on their progress.  

In class, Jill meets with us individually and offers us artistic advice in order to improve our pieces.  She instinctively knows when a “dab of Alizarin Crimson” or ”highlights of Cadmium Yellow” are needed and passes along those techniques and that knowledge.  Jill is our #1 cheerleader, encouraging us, promoting the arts, and arranging at least two art shows a year for us to exhibit our works.

She and her charming husband, Jack, even host an annual class picnic at her lovely home in the Poconos, and has provided en plein air classes for us in her area.

Professionally, Jill has been oil painting for over 35 years. Her work has been exhibited in art galleries and at shows in New York City, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Colorado.

Her paintings have been seen at almost every local art venue, and her exhibition awards are numerous. Her first mural, “Art of the Dance”, can be seen in downtown Stroudsburg, and her latest mural greets patrons as they enter East Stroudsburg’s Pocono Cinema and Cultural Center.

As one of five artists selected for Adams Outdoor Advertising’s ArtPop Exhibition, a larger-than-life copy of her oil painting “Man’s Best Friend” was seen on billboards throughout the Pocono region in 2016.

More of Jill’s artwork can be seen at here.

Jill has become not only our teacher but also our mentor, our sounding board, and our friend.

Thanks, Jill, and Happy New Year from your devoted students.