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Belleville woman turns to painting after retirement

By Samantha Cantelon

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BELLEVILLE, Ont. (03/30/2011) - Nancy Sherk makes art at the Belleville Art Association Gallery in downtown Belleville. Sherk comes to paint every Wednesday morning and says she loves to keep herself busy with the art. Photo By: Samantha Cantelon

With a growing number of baby boomers set to retire, the need for funding and development of stimulating activities for seniors is on the rise. For Nancy Sherk, this stimulation comes in the activity of painting and selling art within her community.

Sherk was born and raised in Belleville. She lived in Peterborough for a year when studying to become a teacher. She returned home to teach at a school for the deaf.

“Painting is a wonderful activity for someone who is retired or at any time in their life. I have always been interested in art. It is a part of me, just as music is to other people retired,” said Sherk.

The kind of art Sherk is interested in painting is nature. She paints with oil and watercolours.

Sherk has raised four children who range from 32-41 years old. Now that her children are gone and living their own lives, Sherk has turned to painting during her spare time.

She is a member of the Belleville Art Association Gallery, which was formed in 1958. The association website states, “We are dedicated to raising the standard and quality of the visual arts in the community.” Sherk attends BAA meetings every Wednesday morning in downtown Belleville. She also sells some of her art at the gallery.

Sherk also enjoys going to therapeutic touch, an energetic healing modality.

“This occupies a lot of my time, as I know it helps people with their pain and in their healing,” she said.

“It is important for seniors to have hobbies and activities. My mother gave painting lessons every week and lived to be 92 years old,” said Susan De Facendis, 75, who recently had to give up her independence and move in with her daughter because of illness.

“Without hobbies or interests, you age much quicker because your mind and imagination is not stimulated,” said De Facendis.

With the BAA, Sherk has something to look forward to by making and selling her art.

“This keeps me mentally and physically stimulated,” Sherk said. “I look forward to the gallery show every month where the 10 people in this group show their artwork.”

This gives Sherk a great opportunity to show her work and meet lots of new people.

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