The maintenance-free lifestyle of East Ridge and the availability of instructors, discussion groups and clubs awaken the creative spirit of many residents while other more experienced artists find the tranquil tropical environment nurtures their creative passions.

Among these artists in residence is Sylvia Foy who recently relocated to East Ridge from Punta Gorda.  While her passion is painting, she has decided to spearhead a group she has named “Art in Action” to bring together her fellow residents who share artistic abilities and interest in the visual arts.

“I was so surprised by all of the talents found at East Ridge,” she said. “I’d love ‘Art in Action’ to be focused on painting but also bring together people who may enjoy art lectures, visits to museums and local galleries.”

In Punta Gorda, Foy was involved in a weekly painting group.  The group was led by a renowned artist who gave the participants advice and direction but allowed a wide range of freedom of expression.  It was a very special time when artists learned from each other.

“Once I retired, I found I had time to take a painting class,” she said. “I never painted to sell; I just painted to enjoy the process.”  She became a prolific landscape and still-life painter.

When she decided to move to East Ridge, parting with her work was a challenge. Many of her paintings adorn her new residence’s walls while her two daughters were happy to be the recipients of her other work. Her next painting is an oversized 48 x 60 canvas which will provide a tropical background for her dining area. Foy also has an exhibit of her work in the life plan community’s Lifestyle Center’s gallery.

Foy finds painting a relaxing outlet.  “It’s like a yoga class,” she explained.  “When I’m painting I’m in another world and become unaware of time.”

Lifestyle Director Virginia Duggan said it’s not uncommon for residents to form special interest groups as Foy has done.

“If a resident has a talent they want to share with their neighbors, we’ll help them organize a group,” she said. “The possibilities are endless.  Many of these groups thrive with residents spearheading the agendas. For example, resident Jeff Haller, an opera lover, wanted to share his love of opera and formed “Opera Haters” when he moved to East Ridge. The group continues to meet.  They attend and discuss operas. Gary Sisler formed the Jib Jab nonpartisan discussion group and invites political candidates and other topical speakers to East Ridge each month.”

East Ridge opens all kinds of opportunities for residents to explore and experience new horizons.  If you would like to learn more about East Ridge, please call to arrange a tour at 305-256-3564.

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