From left to right: Galia Estulina, Anna Lanis, Sofia Lotoch, Svetlana Rozomov, Galina Fostjuchenko and Raisa Kaplun
What do acrylic glass and paint have in common? The answer is 15 senior TCHC tenants, each with unique stories and experiences.
When Olga Poroshina started the Saranac Inspiration glass painting program, she thought no more than a handful of her fellow tenants would join. Little did she know that after just a few sessions, the class would triple in size.
"I was interested in hosting a free art therapy program for senior tenants that would change their outlook on life," said Olga. As an educator who previously worked for the Toronto District School Board, Olga had no art experience. "But I do have a passion to teach. I figured, what better way to do that than to educate my peers?" she said.
Through the program, Olga wanted to help tenants share their wisdom and tell their unique stories through glass painting. When asked why she used glass painting as opposed to more traditional methods, Olga's answer was simple: "It's easier for people to paint on glass then it is on paper," she said.
"Participation in our creative group gave us a chance to communicate more and it gave us such an important belief in ourselves." – Sveta Rozomov
After a few classes, Olga started noticing that her students' concentration, creativity and self-esteem grew. Their overall outlook on life and their quality of work had changed for the better, and they were able to channel their stress and anxiety into positive energy.
Galina Fostjuchenko paints a floral design on a glass vase.
"No wonder the name of our group is 'Inspiration,'" said tenant Galina Fostjuchenko. "It is inspiration that makes our lives more meaningful and creative, saturating them with new energy and discovering the unexpected gifts given to us by nature."
"Through this program I hope I was able to inspire tenants to be more active, creative and successful," Olga said. "I look forward to continuing this program and making a positive impact on the lives of senior tenants."
The Saranac Inspiration art pieces are on display at the Neilson Park Creative Centre located at 56 Neilson Drive.. Those interested in visiting the free exhibit can do so until December 29:
- Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Liudmila Elistratova poses with a display of all the art pieces her classmates have created throughout the duration of the program.
Rosalinda Gindap poses with her masterpiece of a rooster painted on a glass mug.
Fay Williams showcases her work of art of bluebirds painted on a soy sauce bottle.