Central City woman’s art on display at Laurel View Village

December 4, 2018

Laurel View Village, a continuing care retirement community in Davidsville, is opening another art exhibit in the Cambridge building art gallery. The exhibit, titled “Shades of Life,” features the work of Central City artist Mary Wiley-Lewis.

An opening reception will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

The reception is free and open to all. The exhibit will be on display through February.

“The art always transforms the space,” said Angela Rizzo, director of independent living and community relations.

“It is amazing to see what the art can not only do physically to the space, but also the enthusiasm, interest and conversations it provokes. This is our third art exhibit thus far; residents are excited each time to see what the next one will be.”

Wiley-Lewis’ work features pastels, oils, watercolors and drawings. Each piece showcases the beauty of a moment in time. The mostly self-taught artist became interested in art as an 11- or 12-year-old girl after seeing paintings printed in a magazine. She said she dabbled intermittently in the arts until she reached 39 years old, and her mother died.

“As I took care of her during those last months of life, I heard her speak of many regrets concerning opportunities she failed to pursue,” she said.

“She asked me more than once, ‘Why? Why didn’t I at least try?’ I had no answers for her, and those questions broke my heart. The valuable lesson learned then is that we all run out of tomorrows.

“Realizing I had reached an important fork in the road of life, I returned home after the funeral to quit a nine-to-five insurance job.

A spare bedroom was torn apart and changed into a working studio space. A sincere walk on that unknown art path I had hoped to pursue since childhood began.”

The gallery space is accessible to residents and the public.

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