Artists @ Heart meet the maestro

Ladies of the Night, a nickname for the members of a weekly art class, offered under the not-for-profit organization Artists @ Heart, recently took a field trip to the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s program, “Know the Score.” The field trip arranged by Chuck Ruffino, the resident art teacher for Artists @ Heart, encouraged the class to learn firsthand about French impressionism through art and music.

Expertise offered by Albright Knox combined with a BPO performance conducted by Maestro Paul Ferrington created a rare experience to learn about Monet’s impressionism and music from Brahams, Debussey, Satie and Ravel scores. The class was treated to a special time with the maestro before the show.

“How rare it was to find a dedicated group willing to learn, have fun and experience art and music on a weekly basis,” Ferrington said. “I applaud you.”

The ladies participating in this field trip included Linda Blodgett, Lucy Bryant, Sally Ludlum, Reann Anderson, Auriel Ludlum, Carla Pleszewski and Sue McNamara.

Ruffino began his not-for-profit career integrating arts, athletics and academics to inspire youth to excel. He now he finds himself using the same approach of integrating learning, movement and art to inspire women of all ages to find the artist in their heart. Auriel Ludlum, the 94-year member of the Artists @ Heart, continues to end the night of art lessons with graceful ballet stretches inspired by the lesson of the night.

As Ruffino often reminds the Ladies of the Night, “Effort is more powerful, at the end of the day, than ability, as long as you have the true passion to grow.” Each week the collection of women learn how to tap into their artist at heart and create artwork inspired by the local landscapes and the seasons that surround area residents.

The Ladies of the Night meet on Thursday nights and welcome those interested in rediscovering what Pablo Picasso believed when he said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”

If interested in learning more about Artists @ Heart, contact McNamara at