The GO! Arts Program

Scroll down to see fall class schedules at Bihl Haus, the Lopez and Cisneros Centers, Casitas de Villa Corona and Granada Homes and NEW classes at these City Senior Centers: West End, Kenwood, Cortez, Distict 5, Bob Ross and District 10. New classes coming soon to the Ingram WellMed Center (Jan. 2015), District 2 (winter 2014), and Normoyle Park (May 2015), and Casitas de Merced of Somerset (winter 2014). Classes includes art supplies provided FREE to each participant.

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Fall 2014 Schedule of Classes

(for class availability, please call the phone numbers listed below)

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B.PaintingGroupLOCATION: Bihl Haus Arts, 2803 Fredericksburg Road, 201-383-9723

Mondays: 1:30-3:30 pm: Mixed-Media Painting with Laurel Gibson

Tuesdays: 10:00-11:00 am: Yoga with Dr. Sreedhara

                    1:00-3:00 pm: Crafts with Felicitas V. Luna

Wednesdays: 5:00-7:00 pm: Creative Writing with Jim LaVilla-Havelin

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A.LopezGoldens.MediumLOCATION: Alicia Trevino Lopez Senior Center, 8353 Culebra, (210) 558-0178

Mondays: 9:30 - 11:30: Creative Writing with Amanda Flores

                  12:30 - 2:30: Intermediate Painting with  Jane Madrigal

Tuesdays: 12:30 – 2:30 pm: Advanced Painting with Rachel Bower

Wednesdays: 12:30-2:30 pm: Basic Painting with Jane Madrigal

Fridays: 11:30 - 2:30 pm: Drawing with Laurel Gibson

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C.Cisneros.Group.R

LOCATION: Elvira Cisneros Senior Center, 517 SW Military Drive, (210) 927-9328

Tuesdays: 12:30 - 2:30 pm: Drawing with Laurel Gibson

Thursdays: 1:00 – 3:00 pm: Intermediate Painting with Sylvia Benitez

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LOCATION: Casitas de Villa Corona, 339 SW 39th St.

Thursdays: 10:00 am - Noon: Basic Painting with Sylvia Benitez

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LOCATION: Granada Homes Apartments, 311 S. St. Mary's

Mondays: 1:30 - 3:30 pm: Creative Writing with Jim LaVilla-Havelin

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LOCATION: West End Park, 1226 NW 18th St., (210) 207-1720

Thursdays: 1:00-3:00 pm: Begnning Painting, Jane Madrigal

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LOCATION: Kenwood, 305 Dora, (210) 207-1734

Tuesdays: 9:15-11:15 am: Beginning Painting, Daniel Rodriguez

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LOCATION: Cortez, 5512 SW Military, (210) 201-5294*

Tuesdays: 1:00-3:00 pm: Beginning Painting with Jane Madrigal

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LOCATION: District 5, 2701 S. Presa, (210) 207-5270*

Thursdays: 1:00-3:00 pm: Beginning Drawing with  Daniel Rodriguez

Fridays: 9:00-11:00 am: Beginning Painting with Sylvia Benitez

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LOCATION: Bob Ross, 2219 Babcock, (210) 207-5300*

Tuesdays: 1:00-3:00 pm: Beginning Drawing with Daniel Rodriguez

Fridays: 1:00-3:00 pm: Beginning Paiinting with Sylvia Benitez

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LOCATION: District 10, 4355 Center Gate, (210) 207-4590*

Fridays: 1:00-3:00 pm: Beginning Drawing with Stefani Job Spears

* Classes funded by the City of San Antonio Deparment of Human Services

All classes, including art materials, at Bihl Haus Arts are free to seniors 55 and better. Preference is given to Primrose residents.  Classes cap at 10-12 students. For more information, contact us by clicking This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . All classes at the Alicia Trevino Lopez and Elvira Cisneros Senior Centers, including materials, are free to seniors 60 and better.  Classes at Granada and Casitas are reserved for residents. Classes at the City-funded sites are free and open to seniors 60+ and their spouses.

GO! Arts is made possible in part with support from the WellMed Charitable Foundation, the WellMed Medical Group, the Shield-Ayres Foundation, Merced Housing of Texas, the Alice Kleberg Reynolds Meyer Foundation, and Primrose at Monticello Park Senior Apartments.

You, too, can help support this program. To make a contribution to GO! Arts and Bihl Haus Arts, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, please contact the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . In addition, you may also contact her to become more involved with Bihl Haus Arts by serving on one of our committees or our advisory board. In these ways, you can help us fulfill our mission of Creating Community thrugh the Arts.

paintingclass2About GO! Arts @ Bihl Haus Arts

 
GO! Arts, the Golden Opportunity Arts Program, provides professionally taught art classes to the “Goldens,” senior residents of Primrose, where Bihl Haus Arts is located, and at senior centers and residential communities around San Antonio.  Classes at Primrose are taught in the Bihl Haus gallery, which also offers special art and literary workshops, and regular gallery exhibits and events. The Goldens are stimulated by this environment of changing exhibitions that feature well-known local and international artists.  They have opportunities to engage not only with the work, but with the artists themselves through guest artist lectures, field trips, and other activities. In addition, GO! Arts classes are also offered at the Alicia Trevino Lopez Senior Center, 8353 Culebra, at the Elvira Cisneros Senior Center, 517 SW Military Dr., at Casitas de Villa Corona, 339 SW 39th St., and at Grabada Homes Apartments, 311 S. St. Mary's.

The Program began in 2007 as a response to a request from a Primrose resident, who was also a Bihl Haus Docent. She felt that too many residents were leading isolated lives locked in their apartments. The initial class proved so popular that by the end of the year three classes were being offered.  One of the highlights of the GO! Arts Program is when a Golden completes her or his first artwork. It shows that they have been able to let their imaginations experience images and memories long lost to time and, in many cases, to pain. Many families respond more positively to the Golden artists because they no longer dwell on the negative or health issues and other problems. 

Many residents move to Primrose after suffering a traumatic event in their lives—loss of a spouse, job, or home, and in some cases the onset of disease and chronic health problems.  Some can no longer drive, which results in extreme isolation.  These factors can lead to loneliness, depression, and failing health.  Our experience shows that community-based senior art programs run by professional artists promote health and prevent disease.  It also has a positive impact on seniors maintaining independence and on reducing dependence, and therefore appears to reduce risk factors that drive the need for long-term care. 

To demonstrate this observation, in early 2008 Dr. Adelita Cantu, from the UTHSCSA School of Nursing, and Dr. Jill Fleuriet, Associate Professor of Anthropology at UTSA, began an 18-month research project with the Bihl Haus Goldens. Titled Arts and Aging in an Urban Environment, the project documented the Goldens' experiences in the Goldens Opportunity Art Program, particularly as they relate to arts, aging, and health. Drs. Fleuriet and Cantu and their students actively participated in and observed the painting classes as well as interviewed Golden students. The Goldens kept diaries on their medications, doctor's visits, and social activities for the duration of the research project. The results overwhelmingly support our belief that this program significantly improves the lives of senior participants.  Results of the study were published Arts and Health (July 2012), an international peer-reviewed academic journal.

dreambenchgroup2The GO! Arts Program offers painting, drawing classes, craft and creative writing classes.  Special Projects, taught in 6 to 8 week units, allow the Goldens freedom to experiment with new media and different teachers.  Special Projects have included "Golden Memories" a 15-foot wide mural (spring 2010), with lead artist Adriana Garcia, the mosaic tiled "Dreambench," with lead artist Dale Jenssen assisted by Roland Mazuca and Kim Bishop, the "Kitchen Goddess," a collaborative exhibit (April 2011) with textile artist Suchil Coffman-Guerra, and "VidArte" with Deborah Kuetzpal Vasquez. New in 2014 is "Golden Theatre" on various Thursdays at Bihl Haus Arts, presented in collaboration with The Playhouse.

In addition to regular art classes, the Program also offers yoga at Bihl Haus on Tuesday mornings at Bihl Haus with Dr. Sreedhara A.R. A medical doctor from Bangalore, India, Dr. Sreedhara is also a Yoga Master as well as an accomplished dancer in the tradition of Bharathanatyam, one of the most beautiful, subtle, sophisticated, and graceful dance forms in the world. Dr. Sreedhara reaches out to the Goldens through yoga to help heal their minds and bodies, and explores the mind-body-spirit connection through yoga and dance.

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Bihl Haus Arts is an art classroom during the week, when the Goldens set up and take down folding tables and chairs as needed for the various classes. The space is also available free of charge for community meetings on some evenings during the week. After the last class on Thursdays, the Goldens put away the tables and chairs and tidy up the space. Then it becomes the gallery—Bihl Haus Arts—, which is free and open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays from 1 to 4 pm. During that time, the gallery is staffed by Bihl Haus Docents. At 4 pm on Saturday, the Docents on duty set up the space once again for class on Monday. And the cycle repeats. Bihl Haus Arts is a jumpin’ joint everyday of the week, except Sunday, when it rests. (Updated September 2014)

 
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