Buckner Westminister residents host art showcase

Buckner Westminister residents host art showcase
Buckner Westminister
Tuesday, February 11, 2014 - 6:03pm

Seniors in their 70s, 80s and 90s have developed beautiful artistic talents throughout the course of their lives. To showcase some of their best work, Buckner Westminster Place decided to host a special showcase called Inspire Your Heart with Art, during which residents had the opportunity to share their artwork. The showcase began at 9:30 a.m. earlier today. The pieces were for display only and not for sale. Buckner Westminster Place resident, Rusty Lee, generously donated a wooden carving of two gentle hands releasing a delicate dove, which took him four months to carve, to the senior living community. Lee’s personal piece of art was recognized during a special dedication ceremony at 10:30 a.m.

“I hope that people find biblical inspiration in the piece,” expressed Lee. “The dove is mentioned quite a few times in the bible, and I pulled one of my favorite pieces of scripture and carved that on the piece. I had the piece for a few years and after moving to Buckner Westminster Place, I thought it would be nice to share it with everyone. This is one of my favorite pieces. My other favorite piece is of Elijah and the Raven, which I recently donated to the First Baptist Church in Longview. I really enjoy carving birds because they are some of my favorite creations that God has made. They are all so different and unique.”

Lee has been carving wood since 1945. He was intrigued by the craft when he visited a gallery in Colorado that was showcasing some of his watercolor paintings. He saw a wooden carving of a duck that looked like it was about to take flight. At that moment, he decided to pursue the art of woodcarving. He got books about woodcarving and did a lot of research in order to teach himself the craft. The first thing Lee carved was a hummingbird. He kept improving over time, participated in many shows throughout Longview and won a lot of ribbons for his work. In the following years, Lee would make anywhere from 12 to 15 birds a year. He put several carvings and some of his water colors on display at the Inspire Your Heart with Art showcase.

“I showcased sculptures of a killdeer, a scissor tail fly catcher, Oklahoma bird, American gold finch – male and female, a robin, Carolina rams, a bluebird, a red headed woodpecker, an ivy bill woodpecker, which is extinct, an eagle, a flying quail and some other animals,” said Lee. “I donated the piece with the hands releasing the dove because I had hoped other people would be touched by it. I had fun at the art showcase and enjoyed seeing other people’s work as well.”
Lee orders tupelo gum wood from Louisiana for his carvings. He purchases the wood through special catalogs created for those who practice the wood working as a hobby. He has never taught anyone else how to carve wood, but openly makes suggestions for other carvers at monthly woodcarving group meetings. Currently, Lee just finished a piece comprised of two cardinals.

“We love seeing the life works of the residents and we were all eager for the Inspire Your Heart with Art showcase,” said Wes Wells, executive director for Buckner Westminster Place. “There was a wide variety of artwork and unique crafts on display. We heard many fascinating stories about each piece as well.”

Rusty Lee, and his two daughters, conclude the special dedication ceremony of Rusty’s artistic donation to Buckner Westminster Place.

Rusty Lee, a resident of Buckner Westminster Place, showcased several of his bird carvings that he has made.

Mary Ellen Andrews put specially crafted quilts on display at the Buckner Westminster Pace Inspire Your Heart with Art showcase.

Rusty’s daughter and Sarah Suess, the life enrichment coordinator for independent living at Buckner Westminster Place peruse the artwork on display and discuss the showcase.

Buckner Westminster Place residents enjoy music performed by a harpist, hors ‘d'oeuvres and wine at the Inspire Your Heart with Art showcase.

Mary Ellen Andrews, a resident of Buckner Westminster Place, observes an oil painting on display.

People from Longview and the surrounding area look at one of Rusty Lee’s displays and enjoy the Buckner Westminster Place Inspire Your Heart with Art show.

Billie Embrey, a Buckner Westminster Place resident, enjoys listening to people discuss the artwork and observes all of the different artwork on display.





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