For the past five years Judy Sorensen has helped seniors at the Columbia View Lodge discover their artistic side. An exhibition of their work is planned for September.

For the past five years Judy Sorensen has helped seniors at the Columbia View Lodge discover their artistic side. An exhibition of their work is planned for September.

The art of making people happy

Judy Sorensen shares her passion for art with an eager group of seniors

They say that it’s never too late to learn something new.

For the past five years seniors at Columbia View Lodge have been learning new art skills through the teachings of volunteer instructor Judy Sorensen.

Two days each week Judy helps groups of three or four residents at a time discover their artistic talents in her classroom. She keeps the class sizes small in order to provide individual attention.

With gentle guidance and encouragement Judy inspires both new and returning students to uncover and expand their abilities.

“I like to keep things low stress and pretty informal.” she says, “I don’t teach color theory or anything like that. It’s just whatever they like… nothing is wrong.

“And I think it’s important that they can come in here and they don’t have to have any background or skills in painting.” she says. “Some of them I have to persuade a little bit, but in the end most of them can’t believe what they can do.”

One of the residents new to the class is Iole Cristofoli, who praises both Judy and her program.

“Judy is a wonderful teacher.” Cristofoli says.

“She’s got a lot of love and patience and she gets a lot of good art from the people who go there. She makes them feel good and that’s a really big thing.

“When I’m there the time just flies by.” adds Cristofoli. “It seems like I just sit down and it’s time to go. I really enjoy the class a lot.”

Margot Wright, director of  leisure time services and volunteer coordinator at Columbia View says volunteers like Judy are invaluable assets to the lodge.

“Without our volunteers this place would not be what it is.” she says, “They are so important to us and I can’t imagine doing some of the events we do without them.”

“Most are willing to do whatever they can but some, like Judy bring special skills that they offer to us.

She’s done a lot of research about working with elderly people and people with dementia and it’s not often you get volunteers who do research on their own like that. We‘re really lucky to have her.”

Judy sums it up this way, “If I end up here I’d want to be treated in a certain way, so I try to treat the residents the way I would like to be treated. What I do here makes them happy and it makes me happy and we all feel good.”

On Sept. 20 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m., an exhibit and sale of 100 to 150 pieces of the residents’ work will take place at the lodge.

The event is open to the public and proceeds from the sale will be used to purchase more supplies. It will be an opportunity to meet some of the emerging artists, view their works, and show your support for Judy and her students.

And it might also be a chance to find out, with the help of the right teachers, how much all of us could still learn.

If there’s an unheralded person in our community that deserves recognition for their efforts contact Mike Hockley at hockley.mike@gmail.com.

Just Posted

Adrian Moyls is the Selkirk College Class of 2021 valedictorian and graduate of the School of Health and Human Services. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College valedictorian proves mettle in accomplishment

Adrian Moyls is a graduate of the School of Health and Human Services

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

The pilot of this single-engine propeller plane was unhurt after crash-landing in a Como Road orchard Friday, June 18. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Plane crash lands into Grand Forks orchard, pilot injured

RCMP have secured the crash site, pending investigation by Transport Canada

Author John Vaillant joins Lisa Moore and Fred Wah for Elephant Mountain Literary Festival’s Alumni Reading on Friday, July 9. All three authors were featured at the inaugural festival in 2012. Photo: Submitted
FESTIVAL TALES: When 2012 meets 2021

The Elephant Mountain Literary Festival will include authors from the event’s inaugural year

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Bella Bella is on B.C.’s Central Coast, accessible only by air and ocean. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
B.C. provides $22 million for Heiltsuk development on Central Coast

Elders care home project, tourism, lumber mill supported

The federal government says it wants to ban most flavoured vaping products in a bid to reduce their appeal to youth. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Craig Mitchelldyer
Health Canada proposes ban on most vaping flavours it says appeal to youth

If implemented, the regulations would restrict all e-cigarette flavours except tobacco, mint and menthol

Most Read