BY AMANDA MOSES
“You are never too old to learn something new,” a saying usually uttered by teachers to their students, but it’s not often that we are able to appreciate this adage as adults. Members of JASA Starrett Senior Center have truly embraced this concept through their various art classes. Some have taken a shine to this hobby so much that it’s become an extension of themselves.
For many years, JASA has hosted art classes in the lower level of the Brooklyn Sports Club (BSC), but it wasn’t until about four years ago when JASA Starrett Senior Center Director, Angela Blyakher, decided to start framing these beautiful works of art and hanging them in BSC’s lower level hallways. “I started hanging the pictures four years ago, the reason is that the seniors love to see their work on the wall, it encourages them and inspires them to do more. Also, the center looks beautiful like a gallery, and everyone who comes in admires the artwork,” Blyakher said.
Art is the breadth of life for JASA member, Yakov Ryaboy, who enjoys painting at home where he can let his mind create, and sometimes re-create, artwork. Ryaboy splits his time between two senior centers, JASA and Boulevard Adult Day Care of Flushing, and credits his appreciation for painting to the teachers from these programs. With endless vigor and passion, Ryaboy paints and strives to continue to learn as much as he possibly can, so that he can hone his craft.
While Ryaboy likes to keep his paintings (and distribute them to friends and family), there is a plethora of artwork by other seniors hung throughout the halls of the BSC, making it a spectacular gallery. It’s a beacon of hope for members to know that life doesn’t end when you retire, it goes on and such beauty can be created by those who take a chance to learn something new.
Photos by Amanda Moses