Tom Naylor is fond of saying that “art is all around us.”
With the tools of the digital age at his disposal, those words are truer than ever.
Mr. Naylor, a retired computer programmer who worked for companies in New York, Washington, DC and nearby Richardson, serves as the webmaster for www.artistsofhighlandsprings.com. In partnership with his fellow residents, the site is a virtual gallery for artists living at the Erickson Living retirement community who wish to display their work.
“This site is about recognizing the talented artists and craftspeople who live at Highland Springs,” said Mr. Naylor. “In addition to posting their work, we can include the artist’s photo and a short bio, if they wish.”
Like his fellow residents, Mr. Naylor has an interesting story to tell.
In the summer of 1980, Mr. Naylor found well-deserved free time on his hands after earning a Master’s degree from Polytechnic Institute of New York. He wanted to take a pottery class at the community college in Westchester but it was filled. Instead, he registered for a course about printmaking…and never looked back.
“My teacher couldn’t believe that a computer programmer was taking art instruction,” recalled Mr. Naylor, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. “But I find both to be an exercise in problem solving: ‘how do I use the tools and materials at my disposal to the get the idea in my head on to paper?’ I find it very challenging.”
To that end, Mr. Naylor has created multicolor etchings, serigraphs and now, at Highland Springs, monotypes. Examples of his work can be seen at http://www.zhibit.org/tomnaylorprints.
On any given day, Mr. Naylor will practice the art of printmaking in the Creative Arts Room at Highland Springs. He also prepares for the classes he teaches for his fellow residents.
“The Artists Group at Highland Springs is very active. We display our work in the main lobby. We have a monthly dinner. But we’re also blessed that several of our residents share their talents by serving as teachers,” said Mr. Naylor.
Mr. Naylor is no stranger to the classroom setting. He helped to teach at the University of Maryland and locally at Collin County Community College.
“Everyone enjoys the experience. We are here to learn a process. The end product is the reward of trying something new,” he says.
The website continues to grow, too. Live since March, the work of 25 residents of Highland Springs is currently featured.
“This is a fun endeavor. It’s exciting that these local artists now have a platform to share their inspiration with a worldwide audience,” said Mr. Naylor.