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!”

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