A Resident’s Perspective – Arts Walk 2016

Written by Panorama resident, Charlie Keck. Photos also by Charlie Keck.  September 2016

If you think a resident art show at a retirement community offers only doilies by dollies and watercolor barns with red straight out of a box, you should have come for the Panorama Art Walk on September 8.

Bead Work at Panorama Arts WalkThirty artists, fresh from the smashing success of a Panorama exhibition at the Washington Performing Art Center in May and June, joined one hundred and fifty others participating in the Panorama Arts Walk – visual artists in various media, writers, dramatic performers and musicians to put on a really big show.

Some residents at Panorama are retired art professionals, others are established A-list amateurs, but of most interest for me were the B-list amateurs who, freed from the shackles of employment, grass cutting and progeny, can now hone their art skills with support from peers.

Pottery Wheel Art utilizing many different media were shown. Although all art starts with simple materials and an idea, those folks who start with a skein of yarn, fabric or a lump of clay seem like alchemists who transform base materials into pleasing art.  The range of art offerings included painters, drawers, metal and wood workers, as well as individuals working in fabric, felt, glass, jewelry, baskets and assemblages.  Musicians added to the salon-like ambience and thespians read vignettes by resident writers.

The art guild sometimes channels a visit by an artist from the past. This year we had Pablo Picasso.  He spoke Spanish, but I think he said, “Damn good work.”

Tapestry Work at Panorama Arts Walk 2016Mounting this show generated a beehive of activity. Kathy Houston and Grace Moore were co-queen bees; worker bees Gail Madden (theater and literary), Jane Barry (music) and April Works (visual art) were aided by dozens of anonymous drones.

Special kudos go to Jill Huentelman and Jeff Sprengel who produced the eye-catching show program.

Come to the art show next year and get your art juices flowing. You’ll see great art and eat good food.  Parking is a bit tight, but we have two ninety year old women who used to race stock cars provide valet services.  Fun to watch them squeeze almost all of someone else’s car into a tight spot.

Charlie Keck

B-list scribe

A Resident’s Perspective – Thoughts on Learning Limits….

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. September 2016

We found when we moved to Panorama three years ago that there was an active program for hikers and walkers and general doers. Historically we have hiked in England, Wales, N. Scotland, and parts of New Zealand. We find that with aging has come some lessening of endurance and perhaps a physical glitch or two.

Here at Panorama, the many activity and growth in retirement offerings have been a wonderful experience. We have found places to hike and/or walk that we never would have found without the leader of these outings. The ease/difficulty of various outings is explained in the monthly activities descriptions in our “Panorama News” edition.

Recently, we find that my husband has become altitude sensitive, though healthy. He had some difficulty completing a falls hike in Mt. Rainier environs. I have been pretty able to march along, usually. So we’ve found we need some of our hiking questions clarified. The leader has been available and helpful in sorting out what the offerings entail.

Sandy & George Bush

Now I find that I have reached some limits in what I can manage comfortably. We started using hiking poles about a year ago and they have been wonderful in the downhill legs of various outings. These provide stability and also some braking to ease the stress on knees. The poles didn’t help me recently at altitude on a hike on a quite warm day. Experiencing some dizziness, I was way too warm and elected to return to the trail head…..there are always lesser options offered on these outings.

Sandy Bush - Hiking

As we age, we find that there are things that are just not comfortable or safe to do. It takes awhile to understand that this isn’t a failing, but a learning of what our bodies are capable of and prepared to do in our 70’s and soon-to-be 80’s. The term “we aren’t 30 anymore” is a fun saying, but oh so true. You never want to be the one collapsing on the trail and causing a big effort from others.

Sooooo…..we are striving to find a balance while we keep moving. This has been an activity we enjoyed all our lives. What is ever so important to us is that Panorama offers so many different levels of activities. This will be increasingly important for the “boomers” we keep hearing about, who are chomping at our heels. As we move into less strenuous outings, we make way for the more active folks who have heard about these offerings.

Recently active walkers completed the third summer of “Walk the Loop” on campus and we can get miles under our feet all summer on Tuesday evenings. This was capped off with a celebration with root beer floats!! We have also added climbing the five flights of stairs in the Quinault apartment building daily to manage lung and heart health. Many use the amazing collection of gym machines to keep fit, but we never were “gym rats” …preferring fresh outdoor air. There may come a time……

Retirement is always a learning experience and learning limits is just part of that continuum. Now that we “aren’t 30” anymore, life is good in our adaptive community.

The art of aging gracefully is a big endeavor.

Sandy Bio

A Resident’s Perspective – Lunch in The Gallery

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. August 2016

Enjoying lunch together, our conversation turned toward the walls of Panorama’s new, smaller restaurant called The Gallery. It accommodates about 60, and is next to our largest restaurant, Seventeen51.

“Granny, this is like eating in an art museum!” Our nine-year-old granddaughter Hope’s eyes focused on hand-woven tapestry and fabric hangings, pen and ink, fused glass, and color pencil displays. She laid her fork down. “I like the fat, brown and black, fuzzy caterpillar. I wonder how you make it. The little sign says the caterpillar is on two layers of handmade tapestry. But my other favorite is the fuzzy wolf head. I like how it sticks out from the wall.”

Gallery Wolf

“The caterpillar is cut yarn loops, and the wolf head is needle felting,” I said. “Look at the life-like graphite, oils, and textiles exhibits. They are incredible. Someone teaches those skills here at Panorama.”

Gallery Sea Creatures

Hope pointed to the framed assemblage. “I like how that one has lots of different things to make the fish and seaweed with metal, ceramics, and that string of red sequins. And those rusty metal chains make it look like real underwater stuff. Pawpaw, what’s your favorite?”


“The photos amaze me, but I think it’s so clever how each of the twenty artists made a different interpretation of the theme.”

“Theme, Pawpaw? What is it?”

“For about six months, it’s been Living and Fantasy Creatures.”

Biting a long French fry, Hope studied the displays again. “Oh, I get it. That’s why so many are unrealistic. That’s a great idea.”

Chris continued, “The next theme will be Never Too Old. With our creative Panorama resident artists, we can expect some interesting and comical entries.”

I added, “Yes, past themes were Portraits, Photos, Textiles, and 3D. Artists came up with all sorts of original ideas.”

“Granny, I can’t wait to come eat here when the new stuff is up. Are they for sale?” Hope asked.

“Not all are. Some artists spend months on them. I imagine they want the piece for special reasons, maybe to leave for their family members, things like that.”

“I wonder if anything ever happens to them, since they are in a dining room,” Chris asked.

My eyebrows raised. “I asked that question just last week. The artists sign permission waivers, and nothing has ever happened to the pieces. They’re not in the way of any danger. We only tease with jokes and puns in the restaurant–don’t think we’d resort to a seniors’ old fashion tomato throw!”

Suddenly two couples taking a campus tour with a marketing counselor stepped inside the dining room to glance around. They were captivated. “How nice to sit, dine, and visit with plenty opportunities for conversations on the walls.”

Gallery Living & Fantastical Creatures

We enjoyed their remark. Hope reiterated, “It’s like eating in a fun and fancy museum.”

Chris joked truthfully, “And the famous artists are our friends!”

Mary Jo Bio - Test