Posted: May 1, 2023
World Art Day was celebrated in April as a reminder that art can unite and connect us. In this spirit the Holly Creek Art Group, a collection of 12 artists, gather every Monday at the Holly Creek Life Plan Community in Centennial to create art, celebrate friendship and raise money for their community.
The artists have assembled their talents to create original paintings in a variety of mediums including watercolors, oils/acrylics, pencil/charcoal and chalk. Many of this group’s smaller paintings are being donated, which are then framed in small 4×6, 5×7 or 8×10 frames and sold.
Priced between $15 and $35, depending on size, all proceeds go to Holly Creek’s volunteer fund. Volunteers help with various community events which include intergenerational programs, happy hours, pet visits, and gardening.
The Holly Creek Art Group was the brainchild of resident Carol Pierce, who decided in November 2021 that she wanted to gather her fellow artists to share their passion in a communal setting. She selected the community’s Durango Room, which is filled with natural light, as the group’s location, and, to her surprise, a whopping two people showed up.
Watercolor original by Holly Creek artist Carol Pierce
“You’ve got to start somewhere and even though we had just a couple folks at our first gathering, the word soon spread,” said Pierce. “Today we have up to twelve artists who convene every Monday to work on their originals, share their techniques and enjoy the company of fellow artists.”
Sisters Tricia Darrah and Darlene Steder are members of the Holly Creek Art Group creating original works for the volunteer fund. Tricia practices an art form called ‘zentangle,’ miniature abstract art created by a collection of patterns. Tricia shared her techniques with the group and now, several other artists are creating zentangle works which will be framed and sold. Tricia is also in the process of creating a hand-drawn adult coloring book called ‘Mamas and Babies,’ which will be published and sold on Amazon.
Zentangle drawings made by Holly Creek artist Tricia Darrah
“We’ve got a good crew,” said artist Lois Donahue. Lois has called Holly Creek home for 13 years and currently has about 20 original paintings displayed in the Silverton Room, which features works by individual Holly Creek artists every quarter.
“I’m honored to have my work featured in Holly Creek’s art gallery, just as I’m honored to make smaller paintings that support our volunteer fund,” added Donahue.
Artist Pat Harwood agreed, and pointed to a small plaque on a wall that states:
“When you buy something from an artist you are buying more than an object. You are buying hundreds of hours of errors and experimentation. You’re buying years of frustration and moments of pure joy. You’re not buying one thing, you are buying a piece of a heart, a piece of a soul… a small piece of someone else’s life.”
“It’s amazing what you can get for just $25—not just an original piece of art, but a piece of an original person,” chuckled Harwood.
What really makes this group special is how they support each other both creatively and personally. “Friendships have definitely been fostered through the art group,” Harwood explained.
“We have lot of fun here, we have the best time when we get together and we learn from each other,” Pierce agreed.
Artist Ella Mae Wood, who was painting a rendering of her recent birthday flower bouquet using watercolors is an example of an artist who has learned from a fellow artist.
“Lois Donahue has been a mentor to me, she’s helped me with my technique and composition – I’m a better artist because of Lois,” said a thankful Wood.
Many of the works being created by the art group will go on sale at Holly Creek’s annual Holiday Bazaar, which is open to the public and is scheduled for Wednesday, November 1. Those who attend are welcome to stop by and purchase a piece of original art made by an original Colorado artist, a wonderful gift at a nominal price with one goal—to share the wonder of art.