A Joy Of Life… Expressed Through Art


Brenda Painting

Brenda has a smile that can light up any room

…and that is the first thing her friends at Southwinds will tell you about her. That smile has not always been there, however. Before coming to Southwinds in November of 1993, Brenda had been living in an institution where she did not have many interests or possessions to call her own. Although she was being cared for, she did not have the freedom to do the things she has learned to love in the past 20 years.

An extremely active individual, Brenda has countless interests and hobbies that keep her very busy and, as those who know her best will tell you, very happy. From the enjoyment she gets from singing hymns she has memorized in church and taking peaceful walks with her roommates in the evening, to her thrill-seeking love of roller coasters, Brenda does not let her intellectual and physical disabilities slow her down.

One passion above the rest

There is one passion of Brenda’s that takes precedent over all others, and that is her art. When she is not creating one of the many truly beautiful works of art she has in her portfolio, Brenda can be found with her coloring books, where she meticulously works on each piece until it is perfect. Her art is proudly displayed throughout the Moray house, where she lives with her three roommates. Last year, Brenda was a featured artist at the “Soul Vision” Art Show, hosted by Pittsburgh Blind and Vision Rehabilitation Services. She sold a number of her pieces at the show and at BVRS’s Artist Market in Lawrenceville.

Self expression through color

Brenda uses her art to express herself by taking her own interests and aspects of her life and portraying them through colorful characters masterfully arranged in unique scenes. She often prominently features animals in her art, as she loves all types of wildlife. Many of the characters in her pictures wear glasses because of her involvement with the Blind and Vision Rehabilitation Center, and are dressed in extravagant clothing and jewelry, no doubt a visual representation of Brenda’s love of shopping for fancy things.

Success as an INDIVIDUALDSC_0332

Southwinds’ residents are encouraged to express their individuality every chance they get and Brenda is a perfect example of this credo at work. Those who have seen Brenda evolve as a person over the past 20 years will attest to how much she has flourished as an individual since coming to live at Southwinds. She has lost weight and successfully completed therapy for two knee replacements and developed more hobbies and interests than perhaps any other Southwinds individual. And she has done it all with a smile.