man painting a portrait

Who are We? Raleigh’s People in Portraits

A Creative Aging Program of Raleigh Arts

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Eligibility Location and Registration Fee History


Adults aged 55 years and older who are interested in learning to draw and paint people’s faces. In this class, you will work on painting your own self-portrait. Students must be able to commit 2.5 to 3 hours per week for 12 weeks.

Location and Registration

Stay tuned for more information on the Fall 2022 program.


There is no cost to participate. Students are asked to make the time commitment required to attend all classes and complete the project. Students will receive the benefit of high-quality visual art instruction from professional teaching artists.


In Fall 2018, Raleigh's People in Portraits was offered by Pullen Arts Center, one of 10 organizations from nine states to be selected to receive grants as part of the 2017-2018 Catalyzing Creative Aging Program, led by the National Guild for Community Arts Education in partnership with Lifetime Arts, was funded by Aroha Philanthropies, Music Man Foundation, and the Moca Foundation.

The goals of the Catalyzing Creative Aging Program are to:

  • Increase capacity to serve older adults through skill-based, participatory programs
  • Provide models of high-quality creative aging programs to the field
  • Raise public awareness about the benefits of creative aging programs

2018 Raleigh's People in Portraits Program Summary

It started with a question: Do you have a story to tell?

For 12 weeks, 50 courageous, creative and curious older adults gathered throughout Raleigh to build technical drawing and painting skills and to explore ways to depict themselves and their stories through portraiture in the People in Portraits Program. The program's intention was to introduce each participant to the power of a shared art-making experience and to give each participant a means for sharing the story they want to tell through visual art. An exhibition in the Borden Building in Fletcher Park showcased the people and stories students explored in this program.

People in Portraits was a 2017-2018 Catalyzing Creative Aging Program, funded by the National Guild for Community Arts Education in partnership with Lifetime Arts, with support from the Office of Raleigh Arts and Pullen Arts Center. We extend our gratitude to the Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources facilities and staff that hosted the program - Thomas G Crowder Woodland Center, Greystone Recreation Center, Marsh Creek Community Center, and Walnut Creek Wetland Park. We'd like to extend a special thanks to the Teaching Artists who worked with each group – Rick Bennett, Peter Marin, Joanna Moody, and Gretchen Phillips, visiting teaching artists Michelle Davis Petelinz and Lamar Whidbee, and Creative Aging program team Megan Bostic and Eliza Kiser.

This program was offered simultaneously at four different locations around Raleigh.

  • Walnut Creek Wetland Center – Instructor: Peter Marin
  • Walnut Creek Wetland Center – Instructor: Joanna Moody
  • Marsh Creek Community Center – Instructor: Peter Marin
  • Greystone Recreation Center – Instructor: Gretchen Phillips
  • Thomas Crowder Woodland Center – Instructor: Rick Bennett
Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Service Categories:
Raleigh Arts



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