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Hairston excited for first solo exhibit

Educator, community organizer and self-confessed late-blooming artist Mencie Hairston is holding her 1st solo exhibit at the Huntington Community Center in Bowie, Md. from Sept. 1 to Oct. 31.

“I first picked up a paint brush, dipped it in luscious tubes of red, yellow, green and blue, and playfully slathered the colors on un-stretched canvas at age 63!,” she declared.

She tells the story of how she got hooked on art:

“In 2012, I was invited to an afternoon workshop hosted by the PALM (Philippine Arts, Letters and Media) Council, a gathering of artists and literati in the Washington, D.C. area.  We explored the art of Pacita Abad, a well-known and much-beloved Filipino American artist who pioneered the technique of trapunto in her paintings.  My first piece, ‘Pacita’ was my homage to her creative genius and friendship.

“The following year, I started taking classes at Plaza Arts in Rockville, MD, under Josie Lim Cruz.  When she moved to Illinois, I chanced upon studio art classes at the Bowie Senior Center offered under the SAGE (Seasoned Adults Growing Educationally) Program of Prince George’s Community College.  I’ve been taking classes under Darlene Swanson and Ellen Baer since 2014 – both master teachers in their own right.  I also enjoy the easy and supportive camaraderie of my fellow senior artists.”

Mencie served as on the Scholarship Committee for the the Asian American Studies Program at the University of Maryland, the Maryland Governor’s Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs, the Board of Directors of Discovering Deaf Worlds, and the Board of Trustees of Mabuhay, Inc., a Filipino-American community organization which she helped establish 30 years ago in Prince George’s County, Md. “Opening night will be on Thursday, September 7. I’d love to see some of you there,” she enthused. The Huntington Community Center is on 13022 8th St., Bowie, Md. 20720. Gallery hours are 7AM-9PM Mon-Thurs, 7AM-7PM on Fridays and 9AM-3PM on Saturdays.




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