Imaginative art in Homeland gallery energizes staff

artist Judith Hummel

Judith Hummel hangs her paintings as part of Homeland Center’s program that features rotating exhibits from area artists.

When the art exhibits unique to Homeland Center go on the Florida room wall, it’s not just residents who benefit from exposure to great art. Staff, too, find a few moments in their busy days to rejuvenate and recharge.

“It’s something nice to look at when you’re walking through the hallways,” said Homeland Certified Nursing Assistant Kaneice Foster. “It’s not just plain walls.”

Homeland Center’s Florida room art gallery is devoted to quarterly rotating exhibits offered by members of the Art Association of Harrisburg. AAH selects artists whose works they believe will appeal to Homeland’s residents.

Foster was enamored of the textural, imaginative works of Judith Hummel as the artist herself was hanging her works on the wall.

“This is love!” she enthused. “I love it. I want one of these paintings in my house. They’re very unique and different, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it.”

Kaneice Foster and Anna Marie Kraft

Homeland Certified Nursing Assistant Kaneice Foster and resident Anna Marie Kraft admire artist Judith Hummel’s paintings.

Hummel reaches into her imagination to produce her attention-getting works. She layers such materials as cardboard, cloth, papers, and paint additives to add sculptural dimensions, and then paints the images in vivid colors.

Many of her works put clever, modern-day twists on old stories and phrases. The old lady who lives in a shoe is selling her home. An ogre blocking a billy goat from crossing a bridge is wearing an E-Z Pass vest, in a work titled, “Troll Bridge.” The painting called “Pig in a Blanket” literally wraps the image of a pig in a multi-colored blanket.

The gallery brings the works of regionally recognized artists directly to Homeland’s residents, staff, and visitors. Hummel, of Shiremanstown, is a resident artist at CityFolk Gallery, on Lancaster’s Gallery Row, and many of the works displayed at Homeland were prize winners.

The Homeland exhibit was her first in a retirement facility. The concept is “wonderful,” Hummel said. Her works suit the residents because they feature animals, familiar stories, and past pop-culture figures, such as portraits of actresses named Shelley – Shelley Winters, Shelley Duvall – encased in shells.

“I hope the residents can get some enjoyment from it and have memories,” Hummel said. “The topics span the years. Hopefully, they can relate to them.”

A painting called “Ant Hill” featured three famous aunts – Auntie Em from “The Wizard of Oz,” Aunt Bee from “The Andy Griffith Show,” and Aunt Clara from “Bewitched.” Sharp-eyed Asia Goodbee, walking by as she finished her day as a member of Homeland’s dietary staff, caught the image of Aunt Emma from “The Jeffersons” glowing dimly in Aunt Clara’s crystal ball.

Goodbee and her colleague Unique Thomas had paused to view and discuss the works.

“It’s different,” Thomas said. “Each has got a story behind them.”

Hummel’s work is beautiful “because it just pops out at you,” Goodbee said. She enjoys the art exhibits, “especially how they change it all the time.”

“Everybody has their own take on it,” added Thomas.

CNA Foster was guiding resident Anna Marie Kraft through the exhibit.

“It’s beautiful,” Kraft said, adding with a laugh, “It’s something I can’t do!”