Retirees and disabled painters presented their drawings after finishing painting lessons in an exhibit Saturday evening at Miami Art Club.
Artist Ismael Gomez Peralta, a former professor of drawing at San Alejandro, a prestigious art school in Cuba, exhibited his work with his students in Miami Art Club. He said the event displayed how his students improved and became able to show presentable work.
Peralta’s class at Miami Art Club included disabled and elderly students, Maria Bermudez, the president of the club, said.
“All of our instructors are professionals and able to work with all types of students,” Bermudez said. “Many people can find something here after retirement.”
Peralta said that art supports students who have autism or slow development.
“Art can express what goes around their minds,” Peralta said in Spanish, through a translator. “This is a great therapy for these children.”
Carmen Borbolla, a club member and student, said the club gave her the place to practice painting after she found free time during retirement.
“I used to draw and paint back in Cuba during my childhood but it was hard here in the States when I was working,” Borbolla said. “Now, I can enjoy watercolor and pastel.”
The Miami Art Club, which is located at 4277 SW 75th Ave., was relocated four years ago from the second floor to the first to avoid using the stairs, Bermudez said.
“Our morning classes have retirees and women who are not working,” she said. “While the night classes are for children and working individuals.”
Although the Miami Art Club is a nonprofit organization, it charges students $100 per month to cover amenities and instructors’ wages, Bermudez said.
“Our mission is to create a venue for people in the community to paint as a family,” she said. “We are a club, not a school; Any student can come to any class at any time with any instructor and be part of the drawing community.”
“Every month we have an event, workshop, or exhibit which usually increase our members,” Bermudez said.