Lora van Dykhuizen, left, shows off her watercolour painting alongside OCAC Seniors Art Program volunteer and local artist Peggy Schollenberg during Eagle Park Health Care Centre’s art exhibit on Friday, July 14. — Adam Kveton

Qualicum Beach health care centre seniors celebrate their art

OCAC art programs bringing joy of painting to seniors

Seniors at the Eagle Park Health Care Facility in Qualicum Beach took a few hours to take stock and celebrate what they had created through the Oceanside Community Arts Council’s Seniors Art Program on Friday, July 14.

The care centre and art program co-ordinators hung the watercolour paintings made by residents in what was the program’s first exhibit at the centre.

Dozens of paintings of penguins, sunsets, birds and more hung in the shade as participants, staff and family members took a look.

“It was really fun doing them,” said Betty Madaski, one of the new artists who took part in the program.

At 88 years old, Madaski said she had never taken up art before, though her father was an art teacher, as well as his mother. Despite starting late in life, she’s tapping into her family’s love of art.

Nancy Korman is the art instructor at Eagle Park Health Care Facility, as well as at Qualicum Manor. Stanford Place and The Gardens at Qualicum Beach also hold the program.

“It’s unbelievable,” said Korman while looking over her students’ work. “They did all of this, and it’s totally amazing what they can do.”

“I have people that go, “Did I do that?’ because it’s so good.”

The program is set to expand at Eagle Park, with residents from another wing of the facility to take part, said Rosemary Fontenla, OCAC Seniors Art Program co-ordinator.

Fontenla noted that the Aging Artfully program is going to launch free art classes at the MAC starting on September 13.

OCAC, in collaboration with the SOS Oceanside Better at Home Program, are introducing the free art classes to seniors who are living in their own homes and ages 75 and over.

The classes are open for up to 12 students. Registration is now open, and all supplies are included.

For more information or to register, call 250 248 8185.

More art exhibits from the other participating seniors residences are scheduled, with a larger exhibit to run all October at the Parksville Community and Conference Centre that will include artwork from all participants. The opening reception for that exhibit is Oct. 1 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.