March 2015

Resident-artist donates original watercolor paintings to village

One of the paintings that Gloria Milspaw donated to Frey Village

Her paintings have hung in the governor’s mansion in Harrisburg and been displayed at urban art shows. Now, they grace the walls of Frey Village.

Gloria Milspaw has donated three of her original watercolors to the Continuing Care Retirement Community she calls home. The paintings, which include an abstract cityscape, a Florida shoreline and a solitary fisherman, are just a few of the many she has created since she began painting in the late 1970s.

Although she was a music major in college, Milspaw tried her hand at painting when she was later studying for a degree in interior design.

“One of the lessons indicated: ‘You should always have original paintings in your house,’” remembers the Middletown native. “I thought, ‘I can do that.’”

“I like to paint old houses. Someday they will be gone and this way there will always be a record" of their beauty.

Her interest in painting kicked into high gear after her husband’s career in the service took them to Utah in 1976.

“I studied with a private instructor for about eight years,” she says. “I also took a college course and completed many workshops with famous artists.”

Milspaw joined the Eccles Art Association and Utah Watercolor Society, for which she served as president two years.

Gloria Milspaw, Frey Village resident and artist

“I had a staff of people who helped me gather paintings and hang the many shows we did,” she says. “It was pretty much a full-time job.”

When her husband retired, they returned to Middletown and Milspaw joined the Harrisburg Art Association and Pennsylvania Watercolor Society. She continued to paint, selling many of the paintings that featured the older homes and historic structures in town that Milspaw loved to capture in her artwork, including the old Middletown High School.

“What I like best to paint are the old houses,” she says. “Someday they will be gone and this way there will always be a record of what beautiful things they were.”

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