Martha McLaney Wiseman, who retired from a career as a social worker, was the featured speaker at the Jan. 13 business meeting of the General Federation of Women's Clubs, Woman's Club of Westminster, at the Carroll Nonprofit Center. The clubwoman's topic was making the transition from working and managing a household to retirement, and how one then gains the freedom to learn and create.
In Wiseman's case, she returned to her love of sculpture and art.
She had taken sculpture classes beginning in her 30s, but the demands of her career and marriage left little time to pursue her art. However, after moving to Westminster some 11 years ago, and then becoming semi-retired and now fully retired, she began to take classes again — most recently at McDaniel College, where she takes sculpture and various art media classes from Katya Dovgan, her favorite teacher.
A highlight of 2014 for Wiseman was that she and her late husband, Gerald Wiseman, a talented photographer, were two of the artists featured in an exhibit at the Carroll Nonprofit Center sponsored by the GFWC Woman's Club of Westminster in partnership with the center.
Gerald Wiseman passed away in 2014, and Martha said she finds that creating art is therapeutic in dealing with her loss. She said that as you lose yourself in the creative process "you will forget your troubles and aches and pains." There is also camaraderie in working in class with other artists.
She noted that Carroll County is fortunate to have many art classes available at local senior centers, at McDaniel and Carroll Community colleges, and at Carroll Lutheran Village.
She also said you do not have to be a "born" artist, just have the desire to learn technique from classes and books and "practice, practice, practice."
The woman's club is a strong supporter of the arts. Its Arts Community Service Program, in addition to sponsoring four exhibits yearly by local artists at the Carroll Nonprofit Center, has donated funds to the Carroll Arts Center's scholarship fund for young people, encourages its members to enter club exhibits, and arranges opportunities for them to take part in other art-related projects.
The club is a member of the General Federation of Women's Clubs, an international women's organization dedicated to community improvement by enhancing the lives of others through volunteer service. With more than 100,000 members in affiliated clubs in every state and more than a dozen countries, GFWC members work in their own communities to support the arts, preserve natural resources, advance education, promote healthy lifestyles, encourage civic involvement, and work toward world peace and understanding.
For more information, contact Mary Lou Poirier at firstname.lastname@example.org.