Harris County Precinct One converted its Hardy Senior Center into an elegant café, where about 320 senior citizens on Tuesday dined and sipped tea.
As usual, among the highlights of the 12th annual Spring Tea were the colorful Sunday hats that would give the women at the Kentucky Derby a run for their money.
But this year’s event ended with an extra treat when Commissioner Rodney Ellis and the seniors cut the ribbon to a mural on the south side of the building. The mural, painted by the Precinct’s newly created Public Art and Design Department, is the first of many artworks that will accent the Precinct’s buildings.
Artists based the mural’s design on stories and memories from the community’s residents who reflected on the area’s agrarian roots, influence of the railroad and economic expansion, and it’s evolution into a vibrant, integral part of the Houston region.
In addition to the mural, the seniors also helped place mosaic art on the building’s columns at the front entrance.
“Public art is powerful,” Commissioner Ellis said. “What we choose to create, honor, and celebrate in our public spaces says a lot about who we are and our shared values as a community.”
The art department, led by Reginald Adams, will infuse and enhance community centers, parks and green spaces, and other facilities with community-inspired art and innovative design.
“We will make Precinct One a model of success for how the arts can be used as tools for community development, educational enrichment, civic engagement and urban beautification,” Adams said.
At the Spring Tea, the seniors from Precinct One centers at Hardy, Cavalcade, Finnigan Park and Lincoln Park enjoyed an afternoon of entertainment and lunch. There were also visits from special guest: Licia Green Ellis, the wife of Commissioner Ellis; state Sen. Sylvia Garcia; and Reps. Senfronia Thompson and Carol Alvarado.
The event also featured contests for the best hats and best teacups. The hat contest winners, in order in which they placed, were Diane Stephens, Gloria Bass, Geri Demby, Thomasita Rivera and Earleen Green.
Teacup contest winners were Rose Mitchell, Amalia Sanchez, Joyce Murray, Lana Reece and Ellen Scott