Member Spotlight: Irene Hilbert

February 7, 2018

Irene Hilbert was a teacher in New York and Connecticut for over 30 years. She retired from Windsor Public Schools as a kindergarten teacher in June 2014. She served as a building rep for the Windsor Education Association for at least 7 years. She holds a Masters of Education Degree from the University Of Hartford, and continued her education by earning her 6th year certificate. She has studied art and continues to take classes with other artists. She is a member of Women's Artist Collective, Windsor Palette and Brush, Tobacco Valley Artist Association and West Hartford Art League. Her work has won several awards in local art shows. She paints for the joy she feels when creating art and for its transformational capabilities.

In 2014, Irene was diagnosed with breast cancer. During the course of her treatment, she decided that she would retire. She has always been passionate about teaching, but felt her health was compromised. She took many art classes through Hartford Hospital Integrative Medicine. She truly experienced the healing power of art. She decided to start her own business, Irene's Traveling Palette. She brings the paint party to people in whatever venue they choose, conference rooms, homes, art centers, businesses, senior centers, or classrooms. She does paint parties for adults, children and inter generational groups.

People host paint parties for birthdays, girls night out, bachelorette parties, or family gatherings. In the community, she helps to raise money for a business that helps people with special needs, an art center and other causes. When she does a fund raiser, it is a 60/40 split, as her business helps supplement her retirement, and helps raise money for a cause. Most of her business is private parties. She has noticed that most people like to paint and often feel joyful in the social painting atmosphere that she provides. Also some people have told her that they now paint for the satisfaction they experience. In her retirement she has reinvented herself by combining two of her passions, art and teaching.

She was recently part of a Healing Art Exhibit at The Clare Gallery in Hartford, and is currently part of an exhibit at the Jewish Community Center in Bloomfield.

Irene is married to Bill Hilbert, her high school sweetheart. They have two daughters Jessica and Juliet, as well as two grandchildren, Jackson and Quinn. She is happy for the time and health to enjoy each day.

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