Golden Muralists: Josie Baca, Maria Betancourt, Irene R. Colorado, Aurora Guerrero, Lupe T. López, Ramon López, Leticia Menchaca , Amada Treviño, Armando Treviño
GO! Arts Instructor: Jane Madrigal
West End Park Senor Center, District 1
The West End Park Senor center is the smallest city-operated senior center where the GO! Arts program is offered. Everything takes place in one room. When instructor Jane Madrigal began teaching there a few years ago, she felt like she was attending a weekly party for one of her Tios or Tias. The atmosphere was lively with oldies or Tejano music blasting overhead. Over-the-top decorations covered every inch of available wall space. The director at the time was the loudest and friendliest of all the people at West End. She would welcome you into her festive center, her voice booming over all the activity taking place in that one room. It was a Westside-style party every day.
The art class was small and Jane’s Goldens were unsure if painting was something they could do since this was their very first art class. They worked through their fears and overcame any doubt they had about their creative abilities. Together they grew and developed into artists. Jane’s time at West End came to an end after a couple of semesters when she was transferred to another senior center. She was sad to leave her weekly Westside art party but happy she had a chance to teach at this amazing center.
A few semesters passed and Jane transferred back to West End! She was super excited to return to one of her favorite centers. Many of her old students were still taking art and a few new ones had joined the class. Shortly after the semester started the old director was transferred. When she left she took all her over-the- top decorations, leaving nothing but bare walls. When the new director started she was happy to see Jane. They had known each other from a previous center where they both worked for many years. She asked if the art class could create something to cover the walls for an open house event at West End. Jane asked her to find an image. Time was extremely limited but the art class felt up to the challenge. They liked the idea of painting something together as a group. They were given several images to choose from and the wall space that was to be covered. Jane was told not to worry if it couldn’t get done given such short notice. The mural was painted in two classes for a total of four hours! There was no time for second guessing or uncertainty. Everyone dove in head first with trust and the belief that they all had the skill and ability to make it happen. Jane was amazed when she walked into the center and saw the mural on the wall for the first time. It was beautiful! Her Goldens, the director, and all the seniors at the center were proud of their accomplishment and impressed with the new work of art. Thanks to our wonderful Goldens who believed in themselves and each other. It’s a blessing to offer the GO! Arts Program at such a wonderful center.