Virginia (Benedict) Miller of Springfield Masonic Community began painting in 1973. After experimenting with oils and acrylics on her own for a while she began taking classes, eager to learn and continue improving. It’s easy to see why her art has been commissioned by individuals and corporations alike as her paintings leave you wanting to explore the calm, gentle landscapes or speak with the person in the portrait. Currently, Mrs. Miller’s favorite mediums are acrylics and watercolors, but she also dabbles in porcelain, creating beautiful dolls from start to finish. At Springfield Masonic Community, Virginia paints daily and has taken up teaching a class for fellow residents once a week. She teaches each group about the color wheel and then encourages them as they move on to their individual works of art. Springfield Masonic Community and it's resident-led clubs and activity participants are grateful to have Virginia, a certified art instructor, lead this friendly class that enjoys meeting and learning together. Virginia and her husband, Jack, both hail from Marengo, Ohio and have lived at Springfield Masonic Community since April of 2014.
Donna Swain, an artist originally from Akron, has lived at Western Reserve Masonic Community (WRMC) with her husband, Paul, for nearly three years. For years before their move to WRMC, Donna and Paul lived in a rural area that was often the subject of Donna’s paintings. Many of Donna’s works are of beautiful landscapes, done in colorful, eye-catching acrylics. She also has a talent for portraits and floral still life, dandelions being one of her favorite things to paint. Donna fondly remembers many seasons of volunteering her time to paint the bridge at Akron Children’s Hospital for Christmas and springtime. Although she used to have a studio and paint on commission, she only paints as a hobby now. Donna has been embracing her artistic talent since she was three years old and doesn’t plan to stop any time soon! Western Reserve Masonic Community offers Donna many opportunities to continue volunteering and to cultivate new hobbies. She enthusiastically says, “I am 91 and still hanging in there. Some days I run better than others, and that's okay!”
World-traveler and photographer, Rose Bodette, first picked up a camera in 1966 on a freighter trip to the Amazon River from Brooklyn, N.Y. to Iquitos Peru with her (late) husband, Ed. It was on this tri p that Rose discovered her affinity for both photography and adventure and it blossomed into a life-long love. The pair traveled the globe, visiting places such as Alaska, Tanzania, and even Antarctica. Learning from an equipment mishap on a trip to South America, Rose always traveled with multiple cameras, ready to snap a photo or shoot some video at all times. Her favorite picture that she’s taken was a labor of love, as she waited patiently for the right moment to snap a shot of a crane catching a frog in Kenya. A self-taught photographer, Rose has not been disconcerted by technology moving forward, and instead, embraced the changes that brought the digital age. As our residents and seniors begin embracing the possibilities technology has to offer, Browning Masonic Community is also changing to include the latest in technology to provide engaging opportunities for personal independence in an increasingly digital world. Originally from Archbold, Ohio, Rose now lives at Browning Masonic Community and has been a resident since 2014. If you're interested in learning more about our communities, call the Ohio Masonic Home Resource Center at 877-881-1623.