An Artist’s Talent is Revived in the Community of Orchard Cove
Mel Frankel describes Orchard Cove fondly and simply: “Community, fun and a good, healthy life.” Mel has lived at Orchard Cove for seven years. During that time, he has spearheaded the effort to make art a part of everyday life in the community. It is through Mel’s efforts that resident art is displayed throughout Orchard Cove. He most recently played a leadership role in creating the new Resident Art Gallery. We interviewed Mel about his passion for art and the role it plays in the Orchard Cove community.
When did you first become interested in art?
I’ve always been interested in art, but I didn’t take a formal class until I was well into my 30s. When I moved to Sharon in the mid-70s, I met a lot of artists and started taking lessons again. I became very involved with the Striar Jewish Community Center where I learned about choosing art for exhibits and how to properly hang it. It’s a skill I brought along to Orchard Cove.
How did Orchard Cove inspire your painting?
When I first moved to Orchard Cove, I didn’t plan on painting. In fact, I’d given away most of my work. However, I did put one of my remaining paintings on an easel outside of my door. My neighbors wanted to see more, so, of course, I started to paint again.
What inspires your painting?
After my wife passed away a few years ago, my children took me on a trip to Paris. I was surrounded by incredible art. It made me realize how important and meaningful art was to my life. It awakened something in me. I completed seven paintings within a few months of coming home.
How important is art to the Orchard Cove community?
Art is everything to the Orchard Cove community. There are many talents artists here, but even more than that, everyone who lives here appreciates art and loves to see the talents of their neighbors.
What are your hopes for the new Orchard Cove Art Gallery?
The new gallery is amazing. Everyone here loves it. It creates a great sense of pride. I think it’s our “secret marketing weapon.” I can’t imagine anyone who sees the talent of our community not wanting to be a part of it.