OceanView at Falmouth resident Arlyss Becker, 86, has been creating art her whole life and has no plans to stop. Contributed / Arlyss Becker

A flourishing community of artists at OceanView at Falmouth is proving that creativity has no age limit.

Some of the artists at the retirement community, from photographers to painters and quilt makers to beaders, discovered their creative talents at a young age. Some are just starting out.

Retirement provides a wonderful opportunity for people to explore art, OceanView Director of Sales and Marketing Shireen Shahawy told The Forecaster.

“When people retire, they have time to pursue the passions they had in their working years that they didn’t have time to,” she said.

Arlyss Becker, 86, has been creating art her whole life. An accomplished painter, sculptor, print maker and fiber artist, Becker has shown and sold her work statewide. Most recently, she has been experimenting with paper making.

“I’ve looked for meaningful themes as a reason to make art,” Becker said. “Art has made me a different person, hopefully adding something positive for others to share.”


Mollie Heron, 82, creates intricate, handmade quilts mimicking pieces of fine art. Offer up a Picasso painting, for example, and Heron will create a quilt that looks just like it.

“It’s incredible, if you think about it,” Shahawy said.

Becker’s and Heron’s work and other residents’ pieces can been seen all around OceanView. A gallery in the Blueberry Commons Building showcases an artist’s work for four to six weeks. Recently, a book binder’s work was exhibited.

Before the pandemic, OceanView regularly hosted art shows. While those shows have not yet resumed, residents’ art is always on display for other residents and guests to enjoy.

“We just did an exhibition for one of our residents who has lived here for 30 years,” Shahawy said. “She turned 100 this year, and we have paintings of hers all over the community.”

A Handcrafters Group for residents who knit, crochet, needlepoint, cross stitch, embroider, sew, quilt or spin meets twice a month to socialize while working on independent projects. Members encourage and inspire each other and often lend advice to one another, according to Dawn Wheeler, director of activities.


Art and creativity have always been a big part of OceanView since it was founded in the 1980s, Wheeler said.

“We have practically always had an art group,” she said. “Some of our artists don’t attend groups, but are prolific artists nonetheless.”

Studies have shown that engaging with the arts improves health, well-being and independence. It keeps the mind and body active, and can even increase life expectancy.

“It’s great for well-being, because it helps with focus, and it keeps your brain and your body active in so many ways,” Shahawy said. “It’s a wonderful outlet for people.”

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