By Bonnee Waldstein
Kids of all ages were caught red-handed at Sunnyside Conservatory on Saturday, making valentines from recycled materials. This was the second time this party was held since the official opening of the rebuilt Sunnyside Conservatory over a year ago.
Piles of old calendars, maps, dictionaries, wrapping paper, cereal boxes, tattered books and even textbooks were marshaled for creating expressions of affection. It was an afternoon of free love, as all the materials and supplies were provided at no charge and to the public, although donations were gratefully accepted.
Stacy Garfinkel, who was instrumental in the renovation of the conservatory, said the event was perfect to be held there because, “Like the conservatory, everything we’re using here today has been repurposed and recycled into something new.”
Folks from Glen Park included Ruth Pleaner, who was facilitating the activities with a gizmo that made cutout designs on paper. “I’m a Glen Park neighbor who got on their mailing list. I love all the activities at the conservatory — I’ve been to several concerts and two card workshops. It’s nice to come out of your house and just come down the road.”
Several local artists, such as Monica Lee and Dorothy Yuki, helped gather and distribute the materials and supervise the festivities.
Tables were festooned with a colorful mélange of raw materials, plus homemade cupcakes and other refreshments, which no doubt spiked creativity and kept energy levels up over the three-hour event.
Among the age groups represented was 100 year-old (in April) Ann Jeremias, who until the age of 97 was a marble sculptor. She looked on as her granddaughter Rosanna and great-granddaughter Alegria, a second-grader at Jose Ortega Elementary School, created their valentines.
The event also attracted families from other neighborhoods, including Potrero Hill. Many find out about Sunnyside Conservatory events online and by word of mouth.
More will be coming about the first year of so of Sunnyside Conservatory in the next issue of The Glen Park News.