Santa Marta Resident Wins Greystone Art Competition

Katy Zahner of Santa Marta

Katy Zahner of Santa Marta

The First Annual Greystone Art Competition turned up many talented residents from continuing care retirement communities around the country. After much debate and valuable input from a panel of expert judges, Katy Zahner was named the Overall Winner for her work titled “Pals.”

Zahner, 87, is a resident at Santa Marta, a CCRC in Olathe, Kan. She recently answered questions about her art experience, her prize-winning piece, and life at Santa Marta.

Read the Q&A below, and see photos of the prize-winning pieces in the gallery below:



How long have you been painting?

I started in earnest probably around college. I fooled around before, did what I could, but I started taking lessons then. I went to St. Louis for college for one year, then returned to Kansas City to attend the Kansas City Art Institute. I starting doing shows, and now it’s practically all I can do.

Do others at Santa Marta paint?

There are a few. A couple of men here on my floor started painting in their 80s and did amazingly well. There’s a retired dentist here who does watercolors. There are a few others who did it for a while but not as much now.

What inspired “Pals”?

Well, my husband had a heart attack and was kind of restless and bored because he couldn’t drive his car. So I made an appointment with a photographer. I wanted to take a picture of one of my grandchildren, and I told my husband to come with us. He was sitting outside and laughing with my grandchild, and I told the photographer, “Quick, get a picture.” I happened to have this picture, and I had to paint it.

What was your process like?

I didn’t do it quickly. My way of doing it, I put the small snapshot of the photograph in a projector, and I project it onto a canvas to outline. We had a very fine teacher say: “You haven’t come here to learn how to draw, you came here to learn how to paint. So anything you can do to get yourself to the point of painting more quickly, do it.” So I start from there. I don’t like to paint on white canvas, so I put a wash of something over it to make it not stark white, and I just started painting.

What type of paint do you use?

I use oils. I’ve never painted in watercolor. I get several things from Dick Blick, I send away for those, and I always start with good brushes. That’s so important.

How long does the painting take?

I paint it until I’m through, that’s all I can tell you. I had a friend whose wife died, and he wanted me to paint a portrait of her taken when she was 19. He gave me this picture in black and white, and then he told me pretty much what her coloring was and gave me some snapshots that had been taken later on. I had to get the black and white into her skin color and hair color — it’s not so easy, but I love it. I worked and worked until I was satisfied and he was satisfied. But you can’t just slap a painting of a person together, it’s got to suddenly come alive. When it does, I’m satisfied.

What else are you working on?

I have three great grandsons, and I’m working on this little fella who’s about 2-and-a-half. It’s the perfect age to do a baby. And then I have people come to me with other things, animals. I’d rather do people and animals, but I’ve done a vacation house for someone. When I went to Europe, I did some of the doors. But I prefer people and animals. I finished painting a horse not too long ago, and I love those. I’ve done cats, dogs, horses, birds.

What made you choose Santa Marta?

I was drawn to it as soon as I saw it advertised in my church newspaper. I looked with my daughter everywhere, but nothing called to me like Santa Marta. I have everything I want and everything I need. I’m Catholic, and I have the chance to go to Mass every day. The atmosphere is so nice; we’re friendly. Where else could you go and have more than 100 friends you see every day? This is my home.

See the photos of the winning submissions in the gallery below:

Overall Winner and First Place Independent Living

"Pals" By Katie Zahner of Santa Marta (Olathe, KS)

“Pals” By Katie Zahner of Santa Marta (Olathe, KS)

Second Place Independent Living

"Purple Iris" by Lil Bias of Edgewood Summit (Charleston, WV)

“Purple Iris” by Lil Bias of Edgewood Summit (Charleston, WV)

Third Place Independent Living

"Masterpiece" by John Puryear of Querencia (Austin, TX)

“Masterpiece” by John Puryear of Querencia (Austin, TX)

First Place Health Care

"Summer Bloom" by Marguerite Walker of Edgewood Summit (Charleston, WV)

“Summer Bloom” by Marguerite Walker of Edgewood Summit (Charleston, WV)

Second Place Health Care

"Untitled" by Dorothy Cox of Redstone Village (Huntsville, AL)

“Untitled” by Dorothy Cox of Redstone Village (Huntsville, AL)

Third Place Health Care

"Family II" by Ann Cohn of The Buckingham (Houston, TX)

“Family II” by Ann Cohn of The Buckingham (Houston, TX)

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Connect With Greystone at the 2015 LeadingAge Annual Meeting

Just four weeks from Sunday, the 2015 LeadingAge Annual Meeting and Expo begins in Boston, Mass. Join us Nov. 1–4 at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center for learning, networking and a celebration of the non-profit senior living industry.

Connect with Greystone through the following opportunities:

Sunday, Nov. 1

General Session: The Intersection of Technology and Policy, 1 to 2:45 p.m.
As a LeadingAge Gold Sponor, Greystone will sponsor and introduce this discussion with Dr. Joseph Coughlin of MIT and Dr. Mark McClellan of the Health Care Innovation and Value Initiative and Brookings Institute. LeadingAge President and CEO Larry Minnix will facilitate.

Education Session 87-A: Connecting Students and Seniors to Enhance Life in CCRCs, 3:15 to 4:45 p.m.
Faculty: Tim Mallad, First Vice President, Greystone; Abraham Pizam, Professor, Rosen College of Hospitality Management; Zan Reynolds, Executive Director of Real Estate, UCF Foundation, University of Central Florida; Paul Rosen, Volunteer Faculty, College of Medicine

Tuesday, Nov. 3

Education Session: Thriving in Today’s Senior Living Landscape, 3:30 to 5 p.m.
Faculty: Mark Andrews, President and COO, Greystone; John Spooner, CEO and Vice Chairman, Greystone; Brad Straub, Senior Vice President, Greystone; an additional LeadingAge member

The LeadingAge Expo:

Visit Greystone at Booth No. 1319 at the following times:
12 to 3:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 2
12 to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 3
9:45 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 4

See photos from last year’s LeadingAge Annual Meeting and Expo in the gallery below.

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Senior Housing News Q&A With Greystone’s Mark Andrews

This year’s Greystone Event featured story after story of how non-profit senior living providers are moving forward with growth strategies. On the heels of another successful and inspiring Event, Senior Housing News spoke to Greystone President Mark Andrews about the the senior living industry and what to expect from non-profit organizations in both the short- and long-term.

Here’s a brief portion of the interview that addresses factors that are motivating non-profit providers:

In the nonprofit sector, we are seeing a very intense and renewed effort and focus on nonprofit organizations to expand current campuses, to redevelop older assets and even look at growing into new market locations. I think the reasons for that are several-fold.

One, just simply because the economy is doing better, those organizations have more confidence in investing in their businesses, as opposed to staying on the sidelines. Everybody certainly sees and understands the age wave and the sheer magnitude of the growth of the senior population. And the third reason is perhaps defensive, in that we are seeing large capital investments being made by for-profit investors.

So simply, in order for the not-for-profit organizations to maintain their market share and remain competitive with new capital investment coming in for the for-profits, they must reinvest to make their product market-aligned, to make it of interest to today’s senior, whose consumer’s preferences are different than the senior of 10 years ago, and more importantly the senior that we’ll see coming through the door 10 years from today will be very different in terms of needs and wants than the current residents. Everybody realizes they must adapt, they must change, they must grow in order to remain market-aligned and market-relevant. So we’re seeing significant planning and expansion activity now on the not-for-profit side.

Read the entire interview.

See video highlights from this year’s Greystone Event.

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Gulf Coast Village Breaks Ground for Expansion Project

A groundbreaking ceremony this week marked the start of expansion at Gulf Coast Village, a continuing care retirement community in Cape Coral, Fla. Community representatives as well as officials from Gulf Coast Village sponsor Volunteers of America participated in the event.

This 130,980-square-foot expansion at Gulf Coast Village will be called Palmview. Gulf Coast Village Executive Director Kevin Ahmadi offered the following comments in a press release:

“The groundbreaking of our new assisted living and memory care residence at Gulf Coast Village marks the beginning of an exciting three-phase redevelopment project expanding our community to meet the growing needs of seniors. Palmview will provide improved access to healthcare services as well as all of the amenities and lifestyle choices desired. Our hope is this will be a place where their needs and cares are met, so they can focus on friends, family and the activities they enjoy most.”

In addition to its long-term role as management consultant at Gulf Coast Village, Greystone is serving as development consultant on the Palmview project.

Read more about the expansion and its financing.

See photos of groundbreaking and construction, as well as renderings of the expansion, in the gallery below.

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