Artist Finds an Ideal Studio

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“Art has always been a big part of my life,” says artist and author Catherine Zimmerman. While she was growing up, her father always painted. Taking her inspiration from him, she attended Moore College of Art in Philadelphia. After receiving a degree in textile design, she became a designer in New York–where she eventually attained a position with F. Schumacher.

It was her ability to create tight, detailed drawings for textile designs that made her the successful author of “The Bride’s Book”, a pictorial history of wedding dresses in America that covers everything from Native American attire to present-day gowns. Over the course of nine years, Mrs. Zimmerman did all of the detailed sketches for the 375 page book. “It was quite an endeavor, but I loved every minute of it,” she recalls.

Her and her husband had been retired for 14 years when they decided to begin looking for a retirement community. She explains, “My husband’s health was beginning to deteriorate, and we knew we were going to need help.”

The search for the right retirement community, however, was quite easy. Pastor Zimmerman had been working as a minister for many years and had established a mission in Ft. Washington, MD. The couple was therefore familiar The National Lutheran Home, a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) in Rockville, MD, and they already knew that was were they wanted to spend their retirement years.

“It is wonderful to be content with your home and your living conditions. I have been so happy since moving here,” says Mrs. Zimmerman. Part of the reason for her happiness has been the ease with which she can pursue her artistic endeavors in the community.

She uses the second bedroom in her cottage as an art studio and even volunteers in the art studio at the nursing center on campus.

In addition, she enjoys “the neighbors who are so helpful and caring” and the feeling that “you are never alone in this community.” Mrs. Zimmerman joins her friends on many of the day trips planned by the community, including a recent cruise on the Potomac River.

She relates, “There are lots of things going on here, which is nice. And I have made a lot of really good friends here. My cottage is very nice, but the best thing about the community is the people, who are so supportive. ” It is the unfailing support of her friends and neighbors that keeps Mrs. Zimmerman in high spirits, which inspires her to continue to share her artistic talents with others.

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