Rissie Work wasn't about to give her pastor a break last week at Torrence Chapel AME Zion Church.
"Don't you make too many of them," Work teased the Rev. George Erwin, over the Valentine's Day cards he'd just crafted.
At 91, Work may be the oldest member of the congregation, but she still has a lot of spunk.
Work and about 25 other Torrence Chapel AME Zion seniors joined their pastor in creating valentine hearts and cards in the vibrant styles of the late African-American artists Jacob Lawrence and his wife, Gwendolyn Knight.
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The Cornelius Parks, Arts, Recreation and Culture Department sponsored the program as part of its celebration of Black History Month.
Artist Cathy Templeton of the nonprofit, Cornelius-based Community Arts Project instructed the seniors in their card-making.
She said she'd researched numerous African-American artists over the Internet before choosing the styles of Lawrence and Knight for last week's event. The PARC Department's C.A.R.S. (Cultural Arts Reaching Seniors) mobile art program coordinated the event.
C.A.R.S. will feature the style of African-American quilting artist Faith Ringgold when it returns for a similar Black History Month event at Torrence Chapel on Feb. 24.
Last week, the seniors made cards and small packages of Hershey's Kisses for their loved ones.
"To Mick: I Love You, God Bless You," Nannie Potts, 71, wrote to her husband of 50 years.
Tollis Johnson, 71, attached six Hershey's Kisses to the card he made for his wife, Brenda. "Hope I'll get that many," he joked.
Erwin joined in the fun. He teased Sylvia Sherrill about the card he'd written to his wife, Florence. "I can't let you see what I wrote on that one," he said. "It's top secret."