Anne Weikart, 63, knew her painting of several near-naked seniors changing in a college locker room had a good chance of winning first place in the Anne Arundel County Art Competition.
Weikart, one of 24 senior winners in Gov. William Donald Schaefer's "Maryland You Are Beautiful" Senior Citizens Arts Competition, will unveil her work -- entitled "Golden Girls" -- at a June 27 ceremony presided over by the governor.
"I must admit, I was told it would have a chance of winning by several people who viewed it at one of the gallery's I belong to," she said. "They thought it was funny."
The winning painting portrays a true-to-life picture of seniors at AACC preparing for a swimming class.
"We're seniors citizens and we're beautiful, too," Weikart said.
"Don't worry, though," she added. "I cover most of the strategic spots."
"The winning works of art reflect the talents of our seniors," said Rosalie Abrams, director of the Maryland Office of Aging. "The awards ceremony is a perfect opportunity for Marylanders of all ages to honor our senior citizens."
Weikart's hobby began early in life, when she elected art as her college major. But, she said, "I became a mother [of four] and didn't have much time to paint."
Although she exhibited some works at galleries, she didn't become really serious until later in life.
An art student at AACC, she teaches other seniors painting and meets regularly with other painter support groups. Weikart, who calls herself a watercolor artist, is a member of the co-op Watermark gallery in Annapolis and displays and sells her works.
"Art has been a valuable part of my life," she said. "I feel like I should paint, or I feel guilty."
Her Pasadena home reflects her love for the art; it is decorated with dozens of Weikart's paintings. Many portray a comic side of life, which, she said, "is my latest thing."
One of her favorite works is a painting of a pair of pliers turned into Jaws, the killer shark.
On Saturday, Weikart will take the bows she's earned for "Golden Girls." As one of the contest winners, she will receive a custom-designed pin, a Governor's Salute to Excellence and an Ambassador of Maryland Pin.
Weikart said she lives by a Ralph Waldo Emerson motto painted on one of her works: "To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people; to appreciate beauty -- this is to have succeeded."