When we think of famous painters, names like van Gogh, da Vinci, Monet, Rembrandt, Picasso and Warhol come to mind. However, since Concordia’s 2019 Calendar was distributed, the public has been introduced to our own artistic Hall of Fame with the resident artists whose paintings have been featured.
Titled “Brush Strokes,” each month depicts a different painting by several of our residents who live at one of our locations. And each month, we’ll introduce you to the artist, here. June’s resident artist is Nada Askew, of Highpointe at Rebecca.
Nada, who is originally from Mechanicsville, Virginia, has been interested in art since she was a little girl. She studied art in college for one year before getting married and raising her family – her daughter, Nancy, and son, Jason. She owned a paint and home decorating business where she did some interior design work, but it wasn’t until after her children went to college that Nada truly followed her passion.
“My friend Faye and I were always going to art shows,” Nada said. “One weekend we went down to Richmond for one, and as we were talking I said that I always wanted to go back to art school. She said she did too. So we walked up to Virginia Commonwealth University and got hold of a man who told us to submit portfolios in the summertime.”
Both Nada and Faye were accepted and attended classes for the next two years, usually from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
“We thought all the young kids would hate us, but we had the best time,” Nada said. “We both graduated with honors – my degree is in art and printmaking, with a minor in art history.”
After college, Nada continued painting, printmaking, creating murals and making collages. She belonged to the Virginia Watercolor Society for a number of years and won a few awards from the prestigious group, and she would go to art festivals around Virginia to sell her paintings. She, Faye and a few of their friends even started their own gallery – Uptown Gallery in Virginia – that is still open today.
Nada’s favorite media are acrylic paints and watercolors. To find subjects for her art, she often refers to photographs of nature – but sometimes just thinks of scenes to paint.
“My painting of sunflowers in Concordia’s calendar was something I just made up; I didn’t have a photo to use for it,” Nada said.
She painted the piece before moving to Highpointe at Rebecca, about a year ago.
“My daughter Nancy, who lives in Pittsburgh, took me around to look at other communities when I was visiting her from Virginia,” Nada explained. “I didn’t want to leave my house, and I didn’t see anything I liked. The day before I left, we visited Highpointe. I walked into the first apartment, turned to Nancy and said, ‘I’m not in the mood to move, but if I were going to it would be here because of those quartz countertops.’ ”
Eventually the mood did strike Nada, and she relocated to Highpointe. While she doesn’t paint as much as she used to, she has still found artistic opportunities at her new home. She joined Highpointe’s watercolor class and crafts handmade cards with the cardmaking club. When the volunteers who work in Highpointe’s woodshop found out she could paint, they enlisted her to “decorate” an activities cart they made for Concordia at Rebecca Residence as well as a cross for the top of the vestment cabinet in Highpointe’s chapel.
Though the quartz countertops initially drew her attention, she has found that her fellow residents help make Highpointe truly feel like a home.
“People are so friendly and welcoming,” she said. “I never regretted moving here.”
To learn more about the retirement living options offered at Highpointe at Rebecca in Allison Park, PA, visit www.HighpointeRebecca.org or schedule a tour today. Call 724-444-1521 or message us through the Contact Form on our website. To request a free copy of the 2019 Concordia Calendar, “Brush Strokes,” call the Public Relations Department at 724-352-1571, ext. 8266.
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