It’s never too late to become an artist – think Grandma Moses. And while the participants were much younger than the acclaimed American artist, there was a strong sense of fulfilment among the first batch of participants at Senior Hub in Makati during the opening of the exhibit of their works.

The exhibit was also a graduation ceremony of sorts of the senior recreation center’s art and painting classes. A program offered at Senior Hub, the 8-session, weekly art workshop was facilitated by master painter and Art Association of the Philippines President Fidel Sarmiento. It included lessons in oil pastel and acrylic painting using different media such as sandpaper, felt paper and canvass; learning the basics in still life, landscape and semi-abstract painting.

Family members and friends were around to give support to the workshop participants most of whom had no background in painting but were able to produce an artwork per session.

SM Investments Corp. Vice Chair Tessie Sy-Coson was the guest honor and joined the ribbon cutting ceremony together with Fidel Sarmiento, and the art workshop graduates. One of the highlights of the event was the unveiling of a special portrait of Mrs. Tessie Coson – the painting, simply named “Tessie Coson,” was by Mrs. Elena Coyiuto.

Mrs. Luisita Guerrero, one of Sunshine Place’s newest members and art exhibit participants, shared her lovely experience, “Fidel is a very good teacher. I didn’t know anything about painting; it was my husband who’s an artist, he came from a family of artists. All of my classmates have no experience but on the first day, Fidel advised us to use an inspiration and we did it (producing an artwork after the first day of class). I will continue participating in the art classes here. Sunshine place is where seniors like me should be inspired to come because instead of being bored in their home, they can experience something they haven’t had before – learning something new.”

Workshop facilitator Fidel Sarmiento expressed his gladness over the results; that the workshop was able to produce new artists and that the participants were able to revisit and continue their childhood interests in drawing.

Senior Hub offers a range of recreational activities to keep their bodies and mind active. This includes arts and crafts classes, light cardio exercise programs, age-appropriate dance and music lessons. It is also a place to dine, hold events, socialize and reflect.

A senior recreation center, it offers its members exclusive access to top-of-the-line facilities and various activities in entertainment and fitness. Club 65 of the Senior Hub is a place for seniors to lounge, watch movies, play table games, solve puzzles, and read books. It retains doctors, nurses, caregivers and a nutritionist. Members enjoy discounts, routine check of vital signs, personalized diet plans, and convenient laboratory tests.

Members can shape-up and keep fit in the gym with a training instructor, managed by Life Fitness. Equipped with treadmills, cross trainers, recumbent bikes, multi-adjustable weights, a dumbbell set, and a gym ball, Life Fitness provides fitness training suitable for seniors.

Moreover, Senior Hub gives members a taste of Chef David Hizon’s recipes at Kitchen 56 – a melting pot of cuisines suing local, sustainable, and organic ingredients.

The center also aims to tap hidden talents and interests in other forms of arts such dancing and singing. Zumba, Yeba, yoga, hula, jazz, Latin, swing, cha-cha, dance aero and ladies ballet sessions are organized by the Executive Director of Arts in Makati Sandy Hontiveros; while music lessons in standard, pop, and Broadway songs, and in playing the piano, guitar and violin are conducted by the Center for Pop Music.

Full salon services can be also enjoyed by members rendered by the David’s Salon inside the Senior Hub. These include hair, nail and foot spa, and full body massage.

Art Association of the Philippines President Fidel Sarmiento with SMIC Vice Chair Tessie Coson beside her portrait by Elena Coyiuto

Shirley Ong’s "Mahal" in oil pastel

Olive Ramos and her work, "Meadowood" in acrylic

Aurora Lapus and her work, "Bukid" in oil pastel

Olive Ramos’ “Blue Winter” in acrylic

Marissa Nubla and her work, "Secret Garden" in oil pastel

Maridol Ylanan and her work, "Flower Dance" in oil pastel

Josefina Arriola and her work, "Rhapsody" in oil pastel

The art classes at the Senior Hub include painting lessons using oil pastel and acrylic.

Participants are encouraged to finish one artwork per session.