Eldeen brightens Redfield Senior Center with colorful murals
By Shiloh Appel
Sharon Eldeen brought color and life to the Redfield Senior Center this year with several murals. Murals are not a new thing for Eldeen, who was an art teacher in Redfield for approximately 25 years. She has completed murals in the Redfield Carnegie Library, the old Italian restaurant in Redfield (which is now the Redfield Youth Center on Main Street), Redfield’s Great Western Bank, the Ken Greeno building, the old assisted living quarters in the Redfield hospital (which has since been demolished), and more.
“The last time I did a mural was probably in 2010,” said Eldeen. “I began as an art teacher in approximately 1972.”
Eldeen said that painting the murals at the senior center has helped her during a time of separation and isolation due to COVID-19.
“When this virus thing started back in February, I started doing drawings with sayings and I would send them out to my friends. I got really good responses back,” said Eldeen. “I realized it was really helping my mental state to be so busy with this. This really was a mental thing for me, because this whole thing has been so scary to me. I am in that group that is supposed to stay home and behave, you know? Elderly. It took me a long time to realize that. ”
According to Redfield Senior Center’s Nutrition Director, Anna Schwartz, painting the senior center started with a fresh coat of grey paint in the dining area in March. Next, the entrance area of the center was painted a bright yellow before Schwartz had the idea to ask Eldeen to add her artistic touch. Eldeen decided to create the murals at no charge. She spent two hours in the mornings each day, painting for approximately eight hours on each of the murals she completed.
“That was a picture I took of the footbridge in the park,” said Eldeen, pointing to her mural of the Rainbow Bridge at the Redfield City Park. “I have it on my phone and would paint from the picture.”
Eldeen also painted a rustic fall farm scene with a vintage barn, an old milk can, wagon wheel, and silo; a cold winter barn scene with a windmill; and a rural scene with a pheasant, trees and sunflowers in the entryway of the center.
“I just search for ideas and I throw them all together. It is not a scene you are going to actually see somewhere, because it is just bits and pieces,” said Eldeen. “I was a teacher, so I did seasonal stuff. I got a lot of feedback from people. One guy said he would like a silo, so I added that in. It has been so fun, because people recognize things from their past.”
Going forward, Eldeen said she would like to paint another mural in the senior center featuring a scene from her grandmother’s flower garden with “old stuff like mailboxes, birdhouses, benches, chairs and flowers.”
Schwartz said she hopes the murals will bring more people in to the center, which has plenty of room for social distancing. The center has also received an updated coffee bar. It is open from 8a.m. to 4p.m. every day.
“We can also rent it out for family reunions and birthdays. We do wipe everything down, and the tables are pretty far apart,” she said.
The Redfield Senior Center can be contacted at (605) 472-1552.