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Seniors in Tantramar will have chance to get up close and personal with the arts

Sackville performance artist Linda Dornan will be one of 16 artists who will be featured in an upcoming Tantramar Seniors College course exploring the arts. Above, Dornan performs at the International Performance Art Festival in Toronto in 2014. HENRY CHAN PHOTO
Sackville performance artist Linda Dornan will be one of 16 artists who will be featured in an upcoming Tantramar Seniors College course exploring the arts. Above, Dornan performs at the International Performance Art Festival in Toronto in 2014. HENRY CHAN PHOTO - Contributed

Unique course will be offered this fall at Tantramar Seniors College

SACKVILLE, N.B. – Local seniors will have a one-of-a-kind opportunity to get an up close and intimate glimpse into the minds of more than a dozen area artists this fall.

The Tantramar Seniors College is hosting a new course this October that will see 16 artists come together throughout a month-long session that will delve into their work and why it is so meaningful in their lives.

From writers and illustrators to songwriters and composers, from actors and directors to photographers and even a dollhouse miniature maker, the course will explore more indepth what it is to be an artist and the influence it has had on who they have become.

“I think it’s going to be such a fun course,” says Janet Hammock, a retired pianist and music professor who will facilitate and instruct the course. “I can’t wait to teach it.”

Called Up Close & Personal with the Arts, the super-colossal course will be comprised of four two-hour sessions featuring artists in four different panels – one of writers, one of musicians, one of theatre actors/directors, and one of visual artists/crafters.

During the first hour, each panelist will give a 10-to 15-minute presentation which may include visuals, a display of a few pieces of their art, live or recorded music, readings, and performances. The second hour, guided by Hammock as moderator, will be devoted to a discussion of questions raised by the guest panelists themselves and by class members.

This is not a “show-and-tell” course, said Hammock, but rather an attempt to understand what compels each of these artists to do what they do – whether it’s a professional photographer who gets up every morning to take a photo of their back pond or a local senior who decides to take a risk and walk out on stage to act in a play for the first time in their life.

“It’s those risks that people take to bring something beautiful out there – that’s what I want to find out more about,” she said.

Seniors can register for the course during the Tantramar Seniors College registration event on Sept. 10. Classes will be held each Thursday in October.

Writers will include Zev Bagel, Odette Barr, Gwen Martin and Lee Thompson; the musician panel will consist of Karin Aurell, Janet Crawford, Jeff Martin and David Rogosin; actors and directors will feature Robert Lapp, Shelley Liebembuk, Penny Mott and Stephen Puddle; and visual artists will include Linda Dornan, Thaddeus Holownia, Peter Manchester and Melody Petlock.

Hammock said one of the main goals of the course will be to encourage participants to become more interested in tapping into their own creative sides, to show that the arts can help them cope with grief or deal with stress or simply bring them pleasure.

“It’s my hope that through listening to 16 artists, musicians, writers, and actors, both professional and amateur, share the nature and meaning of creativity in their lives, we will feel moved to explore new ways in which creativity can bring energy, connectedness, and joy into our own lives,” she said.

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