Making the Leap to Art

Five years ago, when Mary Schumacher was ready to move from the suburbs and into the city, a friend brought her to a Wind Challenge opening reception and she was hooked.

“I wasn’t sure how to choose what neighborhood to live in,” she says. “It was January and we trudged through the snow to Fleisher. There were all these people – grandmothers and parents and babies – out on the sidewalk and going in and out of the building. It looked so alive and I thought, ‘this is a neighborhood and this is what I’m looking for.’ I knew then that Fleisher represented this incredible experience and I knew I wanted to live near this.”

Within 10 weeks, Mary bought a home just a few blocks away and has been a generous Fleisher supporter since. But, hesitant about her artistic abilities, it wasn’t until this winter that she took her first class: Discovering Your Creativity with Fran Gallun.

“Finally, after five years, I thought, this is silly and here’s this class called Discovering Your Creativity … and it has turned out to be the highlight of my week,” says Mary. “The people in my class are smart and funny and we come from all different backgrounds. It’s so much fun that I’ve signed up for another course.”

In addition to the fun she’s having, Mary credits her class with helping develop a side of her brain that wasn’t fully engaged in school. With a career in nursing and the pharmaceutical industry, she’s long been focused on the sciences, though she’s always collected art and supported artists. Now she’s nurturing that side of herself by signing up for Fran’s four-week Collage Workshop this spring and having her first piece on view in the 117th Annual Adult Student Exhibition.

“Yes, art is serious,” she says, “but Fleisher is in the fabric of our neighborhood and it’s not intimidating, and that’s important.”

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