Whacky party! Seniors make and destroy art in same day

The Brooklyn Paper
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Mavis Baptiste and Lucille Jones hold the pinatas they made — which were then strung up for the seniors to hit.
Maureen Edwards made a lovely bull for her contribution to the Pinata Fiesta.
The Pinata Fiesta at the Grant Square Senior Center was a day of violence against paper-mache animals.

It’s certainly more action-packed than crocheting.

This week, a handful of artists taught septuagenarians and octogenarians at Fort Greene’s Grant Square Senior Center how to make, and break, their own pinatas thanks to a city arts program arts sponsored by the Brooklyn Arts Council and the Department of Cultural Affairs.

Paper manipulator Meg Keys helped a dozen seniors transform dozens of gently used copies of last week’s edition of The Brooklyn Paper and a bag of flour into figures that resembled bulls, bald eagles, and children’s faces (not their grandkids, we checked).

When they finished their sculptures, the senior artists wrapped their canes in streamers and took turns whacking their creations into submission, releasing a mix of hard candies and mini Milky Ways across the center’s multipurpose room.

Keys, who makes pinatas through her firm, Llaves Designs, loved working with her newest students, and said she learned even more from them, too.

“They were some of the most amazing and inspiring woman I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with, and watching them have at the pinatas was pretty great too,” she said.

Reach reporter Aaron Short at or by calling (718) 260-2547.
Updated 5:32 pm, July 9, 2018
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