Creativity has no age limit at Saline Area Senior Center (SASC)

This post expresses the views and opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily that of The Saline Post management or staff.

We’ve all been at home more this past year due to Covid-19 but life still went on. Some of us got in shape, or ate more treats. Some of us streamed our favorite old shows, or found new ones. Others, like Saline Area Senior Center (SASC) Member Helen Snuverink, spent the last 15 months painting. Helen is 89 years young and only began painting with acrylics 10 years ago and watercolors 5 years ago. Yet, it looks like Helen has been painting for decades. She began woodcarving twenty-five years ago when she and her late husband joined the Saline Woodcarvers. Helen wood burns, also called pyrography, and paints detailed pictures onto wood. Looking for something new, she joined Saline Area Senior Center’s painting classes with no previous experience. “I decided to try painting for something different. Meeting with other seniors is such a good time. We get to visit and there’s no pressure.” Helen prefers acrylics to watercolors, “Watercolors is easier to blend, but acrylics is easy to paint over.” Helen keeps all of her paintings and sometimes she repaints the subject. It’s impressive to see how much her style has improved in the past five years. She attributes her success to SASC instructor Katherine Downie. “Katherine is very helpful, has excellent ideas, and she approaches teaching differently. She picks out good subject matters. In each class you learn about color theory and mixing.” Katherine, a Saline native, has been teaching at SASC since 2015.

She also teaches Canvas and Cookies, which is a step-by-step acrylics class. “Teaching Canvas and Cookies is a very fun and relaxing experience - we have an opportunity to slow down for a couple of hours, explore color, talk about art, and eat cookies. It’s a wonderful, brief escape from the world! I love how each student’s painting is unique, and shows a bit of the creator’s personality. We might all paint the same thing, but they come out looking like a bouquet of roses - similar but all slightly different in a beautiful way” says Katherine. During quarantine, Katherine created watercolor booklets with step-by-step instructions for the SASC members / her students, while they were unable to all paint together, in person. Helen completed many of these over the last 15 months, as you can see in the photos.

July has more opportunities for artists of any level at SASC, offered in-person and virtually. One class that is a favorite is Eric Carle Style Art, where students learn how to layer and paint tissue paper the way The Very Hungry Caterpillar
author created his art. This class is on July 20. Watercolors will begin again July 1; Canvas and Cookies is July 9.

New to SASC is art instructor Kaili Dence, a 2020 graduate from the University of Michigan. Currently Kaili teaches Drawing II: Endangered Animals virtually, but will soon meet in-person at SASC in August. She will also teach a four-week acrylics class.

You too can develop your creative side! SASC programs are open to anyone age 45+. Visit for updates to the art classes being offered or contact Megan Kenyon, Program Coordinator, at and 734.429.9274. You may register in person or online.

Saline Area Senior Center (SASC)
7190 N. Maple Rd.

Photos: monarch butterfly, watercolor project at SASC; shanty, acrylics original by Helen; pyrography of fish, oil on wood original by Helen; Helen poses with two of her original paintings; Canvas and Cookies class at SASC.

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