In 2019, Concordia’s calendar featured amazing resident artists – some who studied art in college and made a career out of it, some who won awards for their paintings and even those who always enjoyed art but didn’t truly get to paint until coming to Concordia. The good news is that the first group only scratched the surface of the talent found at Concordia. For 2020, our calendar features gorgeous paintings from 11 new artists.
Titled “Brush Strokes 2,” the calendar features a different painting each month by a resident who lives at one of our locations. And each month, we’ll introduce you to the artist, here. January’s resident artist is Dolores Buffington of Concordia Village of Tampa.
Dolores, a retired elementary school teacher from Zelienople, PA, began her journey with art when she was waiting for a harp.
“I took harp lessons in retirement, and I wanted to buy one of my own,” she said. “While I was waiting to find a good one, I started to paint – it was also on my bucket list. By the time I had a really good offer for a harp, I was so deeply involved in painting that I didn’t pursue it anymore.”
Dolores, who moved to the Tampa area with her late husband in 1960, took painting lessons from four different instructors, and learned different approaches and emphases from all of them. She has shared many paintings with her family, including the beach scene featured in January of Concordia’s 2020 calendar. She used a picture as a reference, and it was such a big hit with her family – a son, two daughters, and their families – that she had three prints made so that each child could have their own.
“I just find art to be very relaxing,” Dolores said. “I enjoy it so much. I’m not doing it for a grade or anything like that, it’s just do produce something. Even if I share it with no one but myself, I still had the pleasure of painting the picture.”
Dolores said she hasn’t had quite as much time to paint since moving to Concordia Village of Tampa in June 2019, as her schedule has been filled with book club, Bible studies and game nights at Concordia, as well as helping in the gift shop, volunteering in the flea market and visiting friends in the hospital.
“I decided to move to Concordia after fracturing my ankle last fall,” she explained. “It was a four-month recovery process. Though my son and daughter-in-law were a huge help to me, I had a lot of time to think about how I didn’t know what was ahead. I took my first tour of Concordia with my sister, and we came away so excited. After showing Concordia to my children as well, I made the move, and I haven’t regretted one day since. It’s just been wonderful.”
In addition to her son Dan and his wife Jenny, who also live in the Tampa Bay area, Dolores is close to her daughters, Beth and Mary Jo and their families, who live in Atlanta, Georgia, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Though she never did get her harp, she plays the piano and organ and also enjoys OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) classes through Concordia. Her favorite part of Concordia, however, is the people.
“We have the best time at breakfast – we have a crew that meets for it,” she said. “I also sit with new people and get to know them, and it’s so fun to find out about their lives and careers. There are just really amazing residents and staff here – I’m just so pleased.”
To learn more about Concordia Village of Tampa, call us at 813-977-4950 or visit our locations map to find a Concordia community near you. To request a free copy of the 2020 Concordia Calendar, “Brush Strokes 2,” call the Public Relations Department at 724-352-1571, ext. 8268.
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