For the past three years, Geneviève has conducted art classes on a regular basis in a retirement house. As part of the Rendez-Vous Arts (RVA) program, she introduces participants to painting and water painting. At the end of the year, the finished paintings are collected and some are chosen to be presented at our Annual Rendez-Vous Arts exhibition. This year’s exhibition will be held at Sarto-Desnoyers Centre in Dorval, on October 9th from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.
At the beginning, Geneviève contacted West Island Citizen Advocacy (WICA) to be matched on a one-on-one basis with an elder in need of social support. Then, as Geneviève shared her artistic background, WICA staff suggested she apply to become an art coach with the RVA program.
“There’s also the fact that I don’t see my grandmother often because she lives in Sherbrooke. And I know that if she would be around, I could visit her on a regular basis. But at the moment, it takes the whole day. If my grandmother would be here, I would take the time to visit her at least two hours a week. I don’t know; I’ve always wanted to do that – to use art for the community. I told myself that I’ll do it one day, I’ll do it one day.”
From Cegep to a Master’s degree, Geneviève studied Fine Arts and made painting an important part of her life. As a school teacher, she now shares her passion to younger generations. The way she listens and communicates with people makes Geneviève an important asset for the West Island community.
Geneviève is aware that teaching to elders is not the same as teaching to children. Taking that into consideration, she makes sure that art involves, at first, creativity, but moreover, fine-motor skills and coordination. The social part of the RVA classes is essential for participants.
“You know, even in my art, I always have empathy in mind. I often work with the human body, and it’s intimately linked to taking care of others, to thinking about others. It’s an important part of my work.”
If you are interested in getting more information on the program or applying as a Coach artist, please contact Natasha or Niki at 514-694-5850.