Art Students Exhibit Their Creations

Members of the painting class at the Glen Cove Senior Center, whose artwork will be exhibited this month in the Golden Gallery.

The Glen Cove Senior Center is a home away from home for many mature residents of Glen Cove and its surrounding areas. Many of these seniors bring remarkable talents to the center that they share with other members.

The Drawing and Painting Class is one such gathering of novices and professionals who enjoy creating art and sharing their enthusiasm and knowledge with others. Thus, it is with much pride that the Glen Cove Senior Center will sponsor an exhibit of fine paintings by these very artistic seniors.

Charles Van Horn is the instructor. He is professionally trained in commercial art and illustration. After his retirement, he started teaching graphic design, Photo Shop and illustration at Nassau Community College. When not teaching, he turned his talents to watercolor painting, a media that he has always loved. He has a deep passion for teaching and sharing his wealth of knowledge with others. Teaching at the senior center has given Van Horn much joy. He is a member of the United States Coast Guard Art Program. Each year he donates a new painting and at present he has four paintings in their permanent collection in Washington D.C.

Mimi Simonetti comes from a family of artists. Both her mother and father were practicing artists. As a child, her parents placed a pencil in her tiny hand and she has been drawing and creating art ever since. Simonetti took up painting in 2011. She joined the Senior Center in 2012, becoming a member of the class to hone her skills.

She said that her one regret is doing a beautiful self-portrait in pencil on inferior paper and having it disintegrate. She calls herself the Grandma Moses of the Senior Center because she took up painting at age 80. In addition to painting, Simonetti loves baking with Sally, her friend of more than 60 years.

Having previously dabbled in oils, Joanne Castagna started painting in watercolors in 2008 when she joined the Senior Center. She enjoys both media and hopes to displays one or two paintings in oil during this show. She loves looking at paintings and feels as if she would like to be absorbed into each painting. That is her unique approach to painting—to create art that people would want to immerse themselves into the creation.

She started her studies with Ellen, the previous teacher, who had Castagna experiment with oils, collage, watercolors and drawing. By using a multitude of different media, a whole new world of creative expression opened up to her.

Stephanie Cretaro is a retired fashion design teacher who taught at Fashion Industries. She always wanted to learn how to paint, so she joined the Glen Cove Senior Center three years ago. Not only does she enjoy the creativity, but she also enjoys socializing with others. Cretaro said that she finds the center to be fabulous.

Mary Wagner started oil painting 30 or 40 years ago for a period of five or six years and then stopped. She found the process too slow. She switched to watercolor paint to speed the creative process up. She usually placed second or third in Women’s Club art shows, which could be frustrating. So she commenced studying with a teacher who “only takes students with talent.” Wagner started to place first in juried shows. She took a watercolor class and Sumi-e painting at the Jericho Library and came to the Glen Cove Senior Center in 2015.

Wagner loves painting landscapes and has recently started lessons in botanical painting.

In addition to Charles, Mimi, Joanne, Stephanie and Mary, the following seniors will also be exhibiting their art: Louise Leonard, Kam Yuen, Posey Heisig, Carolyn Kalnins, Al Petrunti, Renee Swanson, Brigita Gordon and Teresa Romano.

The show is scheduled to run from March 1 to April 28. The public is cordially invited to the artists’ reception on Thursday, March 2, from 1 to 2 p.m. at the Golden Gallery located on the second floor of the Glen Cove Senior Center, 130 Glen St. in Glen Cove.

The center is open to the public Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For further information, call 516-759-9610, visit or check the Facebook page.

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