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The Art of Royal Oaks

July 27, 2021

It’s no secret that the activities at Royal Oaks are top notch.  In fact, that’s just one of the many reasons why people move here.  One of the most prominent and active groups is the Art Group, led by Fran Burnside, Karen Bell and assisted by Lori McClain.

In 2006, when on a 64 day cruise, Karen was introduced to and fell in love with watercolor media.  Since then she has continued her art education and is active in the local Sun City Art Groups – “Artist by the Lake” and “Palo Verde Art Club”.  Karen and her husband moved to Royal Oaks in 2016, and was introduced to Lori McClain, also an accomplished watercolor artist. Together, Lori and Karen started the Royal Oaks Art Group.  

Shortly after moving to Royal Oaks Fran joined to group. And, the three of them have elevated it to new heights.

Fran never had a formal art lesson until college when it became her minor.  Later, as an Interior Designer, art became an integral part of her education by using it to show clients her design plans for them and in selecting the art for residential, commercial and hospitality projects.

After retirement Fran continued her art education by taking weekly Watercolor classes.  Prior to moving to Royal Oaks, Fran has been active in art groups of both Ventana Lakes and Westbrook Village and still belongs to the Westbrook Fine Arts Group.

Both Karen and Fran knew that their retirement should be vibrant and focused on creating joy for themselves and those around them. And, that’s exactly what their class does for all who attend.  

There are more benefits to art than just beauty.  Creative art challenges seniors to stimulate their senses, enhances thinking skills, and improves mood as well as a host of other benefits.

Fran draws a crowd to her Watercolor classes with residents of varied skills, some who only recently picked up drawing or painting.  The art class increases social interaction with like-minded people who connect on a regular basis.  The support and comradery between all who attend shines through.

Once a year, all the artisans across campus come together for the Celebration of the Arts event which also include woodworking, card making, tapestry, to name a few.  The talents at Royal Oaks abound.

Not only do Karen and Fran host classes here on campus, they have worked with the Foundation to help select the artwork found through the halls of the apartment building.  Historically, artistic activities have been avital part of bringing people together and strengthening culture in the community.  

When you tour Royal Oaks, we hope you take a moment and enjoy the Art of Royal Oaks.  You’ll find many of the Royal Oaks Art Group’s art on the walls thanks to the efforts of Karen, Lori and Fran.

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