The Santa Monica College (SMC) Emeritus Art Gallery is pleased to present a group exhibition of works by three brilliant Emeritus painters — Cynthia Cottam, Young-He Keh, and Denise Peak — shown alongside paintings by professional watercolorist Judy Benson. The exhibition will be presented online at and features creative pieces that share a common interest in classic forms of representational imagery, with styles ranging from photo-realistic rendering and natural palettes to near abstraction and explosive color.

A free, live Zoom Virtual Launch Event will be held online from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 9. A link at takes guests directly to the exhibition’s opening reception.

The opening reception will be hosted by Dean of Noncredit and External Programs Dr. Scott Silverman and Emeritus Art Gallery Curator Jesse Benson. The event includes a live scroll through the exhibition, a discussion between Benson and the artists about selected works, and a Q&A offering guests the chance to ask the artists questions.

To see the artwork online at any time after 5 p.m. on September 9, viewers may go to and click the exhibition link, available 24 hours a day. The link takes viewers directly to the exhibition album on a Facebook page that is open to public viewing (Facebook account not necessary).

“In the rare instances that Emeritus Gallery exhibitions have combined student work with that of outside professionals, the selected student artists have been of the highest caliber,” said Benson. “This particular event is close to my heart, as it showcases the mastery of three beloved and remarkably skilled Emeritus students and the creative expertise of a professional watercolorist who qualifies as the most influential artist in my life, my mom Judy Benson.”

“The Emeritus online art exhibition allows us to enjoy fantastic work created by amazing and active people” said Silverman. “And this time, we get to witness some additional magic both from our current students and from work produced by the woman who has inspired our art curator to get into this work, his own mother. The intergenerational magic around this exhibition will be a real treat.”

SMC’s widely praised Emeritus program — founded by Santa Monica College in 1975 as a noncredit program to serve the lifelong learning interests of older adults — offers more than 120 noncredit adult education classes and special programs that serve more than 3,000 students each year.

More information is available by visiting or calling 310-434-4306.

Submitted by Grace Smith