Art exhibit at Littleton’s Buck Recreation Center

Randy Vaughn and Keith Mc Donald complete new paintings for the Brush “Strokes” exhibit at the Buck Recreation Center in Littleton. Courtesy photo
Vicki Palermo paints “with my other hand,’ following a stroke, but keeps leaning new techniques. Her paintings are exhibited in the Brush “Strokes” at Buck Recreation Center. Courtesy photo

For many years, artist Laurie Harbert taught others how to create paintings in popular classes at the Carousel Palette, her studio in a historic downtown Littleton home on Curtice Street. 

A few months after her mother, Myrlyn Harbert, had a stroke 10 years ago, Laurie helped her start painting again and then, six or seven years ago, started a small painting class to include others who were dealing with various stroke effects.

Brush “Strokes,” an exhibit of their work, is in place through December at Buck Recreation Center, 2004 W. Powers Ave., Littleton.

“It’s so fun to see what they’ve done,” Laurie Harbert said. “I wanted to give (them) something to look forward to.”

The paintings are mostly in oil, with some watercolors and acrylics. They include images of sunny landscapes, canyons, mountain meadows, deer and other wildlife, flowers, children and more — rendered in bright, cheerful colors.

The introductory statement to the show says:

“Coming from the Greek word `Apoplexy,’ the word `Stroke’ means `to be struck down.’

“For these artists, the lives they lived were `struck down’ in moments.

“Leaving them to relearn and rebuild.

“With differing levels of challenges, these artists have shown amazing courage, amazing Grace and discovered their own Amazing talent.”

She includes quotes from her students, who speak of how people can express their own personal thoughts and feelings through artwork; how one can paint again with limited vision and using the other hand; how each participant relates to the other’s plight; how when he could no longer read, he could see enough to paint. Her mother, who felt that “her body was cut in half,“ was painting in three months and now has learned to use a loom knitter as well.

The artists are Vicki Palermo, Randy Vaughn, Keith McDonald M.D., Leann Schrag and Myrlyn Harbert.

Laurie says she has been able to return to her own painting now and has joined the Littleton Paint Box Guild. That group has an exhibit, including two of hers, at Bemis Library in Littleton through December.

Harbert said she is not personally able to take on more students, but there is a painting class at the Rocky Mountain Stroke Center on South Bannock Street in Littleton. It has an annual “No Plateaus” exhibit at Bemis Library and offers similar positive projects.