Art classes at Casa Paloma bring joy and relaxation to participants, staff

Tucson artist Angela Pittenger is leading Primavera Foundation participants and staff on a colorful journey at the Casa Paloma Hospitality Center & Residence.

Angela picked a cool ocean theme for the first of her three classes, held July 20. She encouraged her students – five participants, two staff members and a volunteer — to do their own variations of the jellyfish scene she set up.

When one of the participants switched up the color scheme, Angela encouraged her.

“Art is about breaking the rules,” Angela said.

Afterwards, Angela shared why she loves to teach.

“Painting brings me joy and I want everybody to feel that same happiness,” she said. “By teaching people how to use a paint brush and giving them a little bit of confidence to do so, it gives them a positive and healthy way to relieve stress, and to create something beautiful that they can enjoy even after the class.”

The art classes are wonderful therapy for both participants and staff, said Melissa Quihuis-Norzagaray, a senior resource specialist at the center.

The participants said afterwards that they enjoyed being able to express themselves, to work on their individual talents, and “bring out the beauty that they feel inside,” Melissa said.

“The interaction from everyone just brings a smile to their faces.  All I can say is that this class is good for the soul,” she added.

Angela said the experience was also very meaningful for her.

“I think art has the power to change lives and to help people through tough times,” she said. “If I can help someone else find a path to happiness through art, that’s what I want to do.”


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