Log in
    

Loretto Home residents' portraits

Cindy Johnson of Christ the King Parish in Rutland shows the portrait of her done by artist Louise Kenney. (Vermont Catholic/Cori Fugere Urban) Cindy Johnson of Christ the King Parish in Rutland shows the portrait of her done by artist Louise Kenney.
Artist Louise Kenney is shining a light on the uniqueness and dignity of each resident of Loretto Home in Rutland, creating one pastel portrait a week to give to them.
 
Cindy Johnson of Christ the King Parish in Rutland was the first to be drawn when Kenney began the project on March 8, Johnson’s 62nd birthday. “It’s something you’re going to remember,” she said of the experience being interviewed by the artist and having her photo taken.
 
“It’s something you’re always going to have,” she added of the portrait, which clues the viewer into Johnson’s enjoyment in calling bingo on Sundays at the elder care home administered by Vermont Catholic Charities Inc. (A basket of bingo balls is seen in the bottom right corner of the portrait.)
 
After meeting with the resident, learning about him/her and taking photographs, Kenney returns to her studio and spends about 10 hours on each portrait before returning to Loretto Home the next week to deliver it and begin another.
 
“Every Wednesday people wait for Louise to see the portrait” for that week, said resident Thomas Munukka.
 
In his portrait he is wearing a shirt with a deer emblem, a nod to his interest in hunting. His children liked the portrait so much, they got two copies so one could have the original and the other two could have the copies. “I loved it, and the kids liked it better,” he said with a smile.
 
Resident Norma Patterson was pleased to have a portrait of herself, “which is very rare,” she said. An award she received from the Paramount Theater can be seen in the background.
 
“And it will probably be the last” portrait done of her, she added.
 
As much as the residents enjoy the portraits, they also like to visit with Kenney, and they feel honored.
 
There are about 43 residents at Loretto Home; Kenney has done portraits for about two dozen.
 
“You see a twinkle in their eye when they get their picture, and it gives them something to look forward to,” said Maryese White, activities director.
 
Her predecessor had been looking for someone to do portraits of the residents, so when Kenny – a retired speech-language pathologist -- had “divine inspiration” to embark on the project and contacted her, it was a go.
 
She specializes in pastel portraiture. “I find it is so rewarding to produce a painting that not only captures a physical likeness but portrays the essence and personality of my subject,” she notes on her website.
 
Frames for the portraits are courtesy of a friend of Kenney who wanted to support the endeavor, and a volunteer provides high quality digital prints of the photographs from which Kenney works.
 
Kenney – a wife, mother of two and grandmother of one – was not formally trained but has taken workshops and classes.
 
She called the Loretto Home project “extremely rewarding” because of the smiles she sees when residents receive their portrait.
 
“I was really surprised how it looked like me!” Manukka enthused.
 
For more information, go to louisekenneyportraitart.wordpress.com.
 
 
 
 
Last modified onTuesday, 03 October 2017 09:44
Bishop's Fund Annual Appeal