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Melinda Williams/SWT
This piece of artwork by Alice Pennington of Barren Springs is among pieces on display at Fine Arts Center for the New River Valley through Friday, Jan. 4.

By MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

When Dublin artist Harriet Anderson started holding watercolor miniature classes at Radford Senior Center in 2010, most of her students had never even taken an art class, much less painted with watercolors. Now, students of all ages from throughout the New River Valley have their works on display for all to see at Fine Arts Center for the New River Valley, 21 W. Main St., Pulaski. “Retrospective – a look back into time and memories,” is the latest artwork to be shown at the Fine Arts Center. The exhibit runs through Friday, Jan. 4, and the public will have an opportunity to meet the artists at a reception this Sunday, Dec. 2, 2-4 p.m. Some pieces of artwork will be for sale. In her description of the exhibit, Anderson said the original idea behind holding the “Art of Watercolor Miniature” classes at the senior center was to “offer watercolor classes to older citizens who were interested in learning something new and creative after a lifetime spent working and raising families.” She said the classes began to grow throughout the New River Valley, attracting a variety of ages. “The amazing part of this story is that most of the students had never painted with watercolors or even taken any art classes at all,” said Anderson. “Yet, within a few weeks, they were enthusiastically brushing in ‘wet on wet’ skies, blending small evergreen trees along lavender mountains and shading small barns in snow-covered pastures.” Lessons in human figures and other techniques “gave way to original compositions and drawings as stories of places and people in times gone by found their way onto small canvases,” she said. Over the past two years, Anderson said “Retrospective” has grown to showcase the talent of her many “wonderful” students. “As their teacher, I am very proud of what we have all accomplished,” she said. “The ‘Retrospective’ idea has allowed us to share experiences and stories that have enriched our paintings and our lives.” She added, “I know that their efforts are a tribute to the belief that we should be learners for all our lifetime – believing that we have abilities and skills yet to touch – no matter what our age.”