Charles E. Smith

Life Communities



Lorna, Painting-1 Lorna, painting-2 Lorna, Painting-4 Lorna, Painting-3
Lorna Tranen, Artist Lorna:
A Surprising Talent 

If you happen to walk by Lorna's room in the Smith-Kogod Residence, where she has been living since 2004, you will notice in the shadow-box by her door an impressionist painting bursting with pinks, oranges, blues, and yellows. Should you then happen to notice on the wall by her opened door several similar paintings, it is only natural to assume that you are seeing artwork by an extremely gifted artist. In fact, that is exactly what you are seeing, but there is a surprising twist to this story. 

Lorna has had MS for many years and as a result, the use of her right hand is limited. One day, Victoria Molina, an artist in the Home's recreation therapy department, dropped by Lorna’s room and invited her to join her weekly art class. Lorna, who had never done anything with art --- and had never even thought about it ---explained her situation, but Victoria persisted, urging Lorna at least to give it a try to see what she could produce with her functioning left hand.

In the art studio, Lorna was able to grasp a paintbrush, dip it into acrylic paints of various colors, and with a back-and-forth motion, sweep color across a canvas. To her astonishment and delight, the painting was gorgeous! So, she kept at it, repeating the technique each time, and taking pleasure in her creations. For friends, Lorna is now working on 5” by 7” versions of this style of painting, which she will present as gifts. Each individual painting will come packaged with a miniature, lacquered display easel.

At the Hebrew Home, Lorna will continue to receive plenty of encouragement to nurture her long-hidden artistic talent. We hope, in turn, that she will inspire her fellow residents to begin searching for their own undiscovered abilities. 

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