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Art Classes at Local Retirement Home Keep Students Sharp

Instructor at Tapestry says life never stops teaching

As human beings, we never stop learning. Trying new things, exploring, and experiencing are key factors to living life to the fullest at any age. The evidence of this is close at hand.

At Tapestry, a retirement home on campus in Wesbrook Village, about 10 to 12 people attend an art class run by Teresa Trainer, a retired social worker with a background in visual art as well as psychosocial oncology.

Teresa wants people to know that as she understands things, the health of our brains becomes more important as we grow older, and she believes that art is a significant element in the equation.

(Photo: Vivian Su)

The class runs twice a week and is open to all Tapestry residents. Teresa introduces new topics each week. Attendees learn different techniques and skills including composition and colour theory. Within the classes, her students experiment with various mediums and styles—pencils, watercolours, oils, pastels, collages, and mixed media.

Teresa says that for her, the most moving moments are when she sees her students displaying their pieces in the lobby. It’s wonderful to see everyone share their creations with other people with pride and show their passion.

Her favourite part of teaching the classes, she says, is her satisfaction of sharing something she loves, as well as seeing her students gain self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment as they complete their works.

Teresa Trainer, a retired social worker with a background in visual art as well as psychosocial oncology, teaches an art class at Tapestry retirement home in Wesbrook Village. (Photo: Vivian Su)

Art brings happiness and creation to our lives, she says. And creating something along with others fosters companionship and well-being.

As an experienced artist herself, Teresa stands as a role model for aspiring artists. “If you love art, it becomes your companion throughout life,” she says.

“It’s always what you can return to,” she says. “Art never leaves you.”


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