Pete’s Class is the Shelby Township Senior Center’s featured artist for the months of March and April.

Pete’s Class is the Shelby Township Senior Center’s featured artist for the months of March and April.

Photo provided by Fu-Yuan Ciricola

Whole class featured as artist of the months of March and April

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby-Utica News | Published April 23, 2024


SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The Shelby Township Senior Center has had a unique featured artist for March and April.

Pete’s Class has been the Shelby Township Senior Center’s featured artist for these months. The class display has been up in the Senior Center at the Shelby Township Activities Center, 14975 21 Mile Road, since the beginning of March and will continue through the end of April.

Instructor Pete Snodgrass began taking art lessons at just 8 years old with drawing and charcoal. He enjoys painting in oil and acrylic, decoy carving and making wooden clocks.

Upon retirement, he moved into watercolor. He has attended classes in New Mexico, Wisconsin, Ohio and Michigan. He also attended numerous classes at Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center and Birmingham Community House and a workshop at Meijer Gardens-Grand Rapids.

He has taught at the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center, the Grosse Pointe Art Center, numerous senior centers and been a juror for art club shows and a judge for the Armada Fair. He has exhibited at Twisted Fish Gallery in Elk Rapids and Crooked Tree Art Center in Petoskey.

“The experience of teaching changed and improved my own art. Meeting the people in the classes has been great; nice to see someone who never painted advance to exhibiting and selling watercolor paintings,” he said.

He explained how he approaches the classes that he teaches.

“I try to have a specific technique, color mixing, composition, etc,, each week,” Snodgrass said.

Monica Weiss has enjoyed visual art for years. As a teacher, she always incorporated art throughout the curriculum. The last eight years of her teaching career, she taught K-8 at Priest Elementary-Middle School in Detroit. She is enjoying a deep dive into learning watercolors at the Shelby Township Senior Center.

“The participants are fun to work with, too. We have learned and practiced many different techniques to achieve better paintings. We are working on mixing colors now. Everything has been beneficial to my growth as a painter,” she said.

Pat Heafield has been learning to paint from Snodgrass for many years.

“I have been in Pete’s class from the beginning, and I’m not sure when that was, but it has to be at least 10 years or more. This is a fun and interesting class with a nice group of people — always something new to learn,” Heafield said.