Artist of the Month: Mary Kay Hopkins

Artist of Month

Hopkins is shown with a variety of her old and new paintings. The painting over her right shoulder, entitled “Trees at Nay Aug,” was her first painting back in 1982.

By Dolly Michalczyk

As a long- time member of the Dunmore Senior Citizen’s Center painting class, Mary Kay Hopkins has served as a mentor to many people, including this writer.  She is welcoming and encouraging, offering many fine ideas to the other artists and to the class. She has exhibited her wonderful work at our art shows and has sold several pieces.

Mary Kay herself says, “I am so very proud to be an art student for 12 years studying under Jill Swersie, at the Dunmore Community Center. I have learned more than I ever thought I could have.  

“I am inspired by Jill, our  teacher, who continues year after year to bring out the artist in all of us.  She is not only our teacher, but also a friend. The Center is a wonderfully warm place largely because of Allison Boga, our director.  She is a warm and engaging professional who makes us feel so special.” 

Mary Kay notes that some of the pictures displayed in her photo are new, while some are old.  She explains, “The one over my right shoulder I named Trees at Nay Aug. It was my very first attempt back in 1982.  I am inspired by nature and the human form.

“Much has happened in my life over the past few years.   I am honored to have all of my friends in class to lean on.   I have returned to my beloved profession as a transcriptionist.  Life is good!”

Art class Christmas party at the Senior Activity Hub


art-class-christmas-partyThe Dunmore Senior Activity Hub Oil Painting Class enjoyed their Christmas party and posed with beautifully decorated pinecone, mini-Christmas trees which were handcrafted and gifted by artist Mary Kay Hopkins.

Seated from left: Bill Graziano, Marie Barbuti, Mary Kay Hopkins, Bev Petrini, Dolly Michalczyk, and Maria Estrella Ragnacci.

Second row, same order: Phyllis Reinhardt, Marilyn Hope,  Ella Rayburn, Joyce Harrington, Patricia Orr,  Maria Augelli Grudeski,  Janet Lewis, Pat Reilly,  and Alison Boga, Center Director.

Third row: Mary K. White,  Angela Yankelitis, Mary Anne McCleneghan, Ruth Boyles, Jill Swersie- art instructor, Linda Norton,  Lillian Banick,  Lucille Banick, and  Marie Mohila.

Missing when photo was taken:  Joe Bartos  


Artist of the Month: Mary Kay Hopkins


Mary Kay Hopkins, our January Artist of the Month, shows a featured painting titled “Bringing Home the Tree,” which was the first painting done during her class at the Dunmore Activity Hub.

Mary Kay Hopkins of Dunmore is January’s featured Artist of the Month from the Dunmore Activity Hub.

Mary Kay recalls, “I will never forget that first day at the Activity Hub. I was convinced I was not a painter and never would be. But when I announced I was not coming back, a chorus of students, led by our teacher Jill Swersie, convinced me to return. So, I did, and the rest is history.”

Mary Kay has been painting with the group of over eight years and has completed approximately 50 paintings, a few of which she has sold.

“I retired in 2007 from a job I loved as a medical transcriptionist,” she explains. “I found myself very bored and not suited for retirement. One day, in 2008, after receiving a dreaded diagnosis of breast cancer, I was feeling sorry for myself and decided to check out the Dunmore Activity Hub.”

She found a painting class in progress and decided to join the next week, citing it as “one of the best decisions I have ever made.”

Mary Kay gets her inspiration and ideas from the “library” at the Center, snapshots of her grandchildren, cross country travel with her husband, and memories made with their son, such as the “Fishing at Sunset” painting in the front center of the photo inspired by Edisto Island in South Carolina.

Mrs. Hopkins raves about her instructor, saying, “Jill is a remarkable person and teacher, and she has a sparkling personality. We have become a family in the art class and she is our guide.

“She manages to bring out the artist in all of us with her expertise and gentle way. We all look forward to seeing each other on Monday, and for a few hours, we forget our problems and just have fun.”

Mary Kay says the Dunmore Activity Hub is a wonderful addition to this area. “It is well-managed and gets better every day day with our new director, Allison.”