Take an indoor walk in the park at Westlake Community Services

Nature photography from local artist Neil Doren lines the walls of the Westlake Community Services Center. Photo by Robert Rozboril

As our beautiful fall weather turns to the inevitable, brisk and cold reality of late November and beyond, a stroll in the park starts to sound a little less appealing. Instead, might I suggest an indoor nature walk of sorts at the Westlake Community Services Center, where we are hosting an exhibit of the nature photography of local artist Neil Doren? 

A large portion of Neil's work is shot locally in our very own Metroparks, so you can view some of our local, natural beauty through Neil's artistic eye. Viewing his work may even trigger a nostalgic recognition for some, as Neil was a regular vendor at the St. John West Shore Festival of the Arts, a 20-plus-year community art festival that many still remember and miss.

The exhibit at the center is really a lifetime of this extraordinary artist's work. The pieces are also for sale, with half the proceeds being generously donated back to the center's senior programming in memory of Neil's late wife, Donna.

While you are visiting the center, you can also check-out the work of some of our very talented student artists. On display in our Inspiration Center are several beautiful pieces of watercolor as well as oil painting projects. Perhaps, as the name of our art studio suggests, you may even be inspired to register for a class. You do not have to be 50+ or a Westlake resident to partake in one of our art classes.

Finally, to round out your afternoon of art appreciation, if you visit the center on Tuesday through Friday from 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. you can enjoy a chef-prepared meal in the Connections Cafe. The food is all prepared with homemade goodness and culinary artistry. There are always two soup choices, a sandwich, quiche, muffin and salad on our daily menu.

The Westlake Community Services Center is located on the campus of the Westlake Recreation Center (a park!) at 28975 Hilliard Boulevard. We primarily provide classes and activities for individuals who are 50+ years of age. You can find out more by viewing our Pathways newsletter at www.cityofwestlake.org/community-services or call us at 440-899-3544. We are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

After you have enjoyed this exhibit, you may want to also check-out the Rocky River Nature Center where another local artist and friend of the center, Paul Johanni is exhibiting a collection of his works. Paul's exhibit is called Inspiring Discovery: Forming Nature. His show runs through Dec. 29 from 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. On Sunday, Dec. 4, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., you can also have the opportunity to meet the artist, as Paul will be on-hand to demonstrate and discuss the many creative techniques used in his art.

In a roundabout way, these are all opportunities to enjoy your walk in the park.

Lydia Gadd

I am the Director of the Community Services Department for the City of Westlake. I am also a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor.

Read More on Community Events
Volume 14, Issue 22, Posted 10:11 AM, 11.15.2022