Art at the Center

If Weston is Connecticut’s best-kept secret, the town’s Senior Center may be Weston’s best-kept secret.

That may be changing, in large part because of art.

The Center operates in what used to be classroom space at Hurlbutt Elementary School’s South House. If you’re not looking for it, it’s easy to miss. But inside, there is a generous amount of space and a fresh, comfortable, friendly environment.

And there’s a lot going on. Weston seniors who don’t take advantage of the Center’s many attractions — or don’t even know about them — are missing out on movies, games, crafts, presentations, health and wellness programs, discussions on topics ranging from tax preparation to Medicare services, and a full set of fitness programs.

When it comes to exercise, the Center offers just about everything, including Tai Chi, yoga, tap dancing, Pilates, strength and fitness, ping pong, and pickleball. (Pickleball is an increasingly popular game, sort of a combination of badminton, tennis, and table tennis. Great fun.)

And then there is art, which brings us back to where we started.

The good news is that the Center offers a growing number of drawing and painting classes. The bad news is that the classes are usually full. The better news is that the Center plans to offer more, and seems willing, able, and ready to meet increased demand.

Classes are taught by skilled instructors. We visited a watercolor session taught by Wendy Pieper. The pictures in this article are from that class.

It’s interesting that art at the Senior Center is drawing attention from elsewhere. Wendy Petty, the Center’s director, told us that an open Art Expo in July drew a large number of participants from other towns.

“It was great,” said Ms. Petty. “People from out of town always say Weston is too far away. Then they come to something like the Expo, and you hear them say, ‘wow, people are nice in Weston!’”

The Future of the Center

Most of the Center’s activities are only open to Weston residents. The Center is supported by Friends of the Weston Senior Activities Center, which raises funds and provides program volunteers. The Friends and the town’s Commission on Aging hope that a time comes when the Center has its own building. That may become necessary before too long.

In 2014, the Center’s current location at Hurlbutt is the result of a five-year agreement between the Town and the Weston School District. Today, that arrangement is somewhat in limbo, as the Board of Education is beginning a comprehensive study of school facility needs, with future use of Hurlbutt yet to be decided.

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