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HEALTH & WELLNESS ON THE

HEALTH & WELLNESS ON THE NORTH ISLAND Jill Paris-Rody grew up in Oregon, surrounded by trees and natural beauty. For Jill, painting explores the beauty of nature present in her life. “I’m thankful to my parents," she says. "They were a big part of my direction—especially with my father being in forestry.” His influence was strong: Jill isn’t the only one in her family with a colourful love of art. Her youngest sister is a high school art teacher; her oldest sister a pottery instructor. Every artist has a particular look and style that becomes their signature, and Jill tells her stories using distance and depth; colour expresses her feelings. Viewing her art as an important form of self-expression keeps her body of work wholesome, and her creativity provides an emotional sense of well-being. She believes that art can create hope for people— "discovery and intrigue can be right around the corner" —and she passes on that sense of hope through her work. She tries not worry about outcomes; she believes things will work out. Because she learns so much through the teaching and creating processes, Jill is always ready to share her ideas and faith. JILL PARIS-RODY Health & Wellness Feature Artist KEALY DONALDSON PHOTOS JAMES HEADRICK | STILL IN MOTION MEDIA Jill has taught painting for a few decades. Most of her students are fifty-plus and retired. “Regardless of age,” she says, “every human being has creativity as their source. We are created to be creative and when we are not, we feel empty. When we are productive and happy, we are creative.” Sharing this knowledge with her students helps them to relax and embrace their natural creativity. Jill notes that her students’ work and ideas are important in launching their journey through art and expression. Some of her students have been with her for twenty-five years or more, since she started teaching on the North Island. She inspires a mutual respect and appreciation with her students. One is currently battling cancer, and just getting to class to paint and create is a successful day for that person. Jill says that such powerful life expression is the part of the beauty of art that she loves to experience. Ken Blackburn, Executive Director of Campbell River Community Arts Council, knows Jill well. They worked together to show Jill’s art in the local hospital. "The Arts in the Hospital project aims to have the arts become an integral element of health care delivery," he explains. "Arts and NORTH ISLAND COMPASS | ISSUE 8

HEALTH & WELLNESS ON THE NORTH ISLAND Culture are wonderful resources in establishing supportive, therapeutic and healing processes within the hospital." Jill teaches a small class from the Campbell River Head Injury Society through Arts in the Hospital. The students are delighted to be working with Jill and eager to share their creativity. Painting is a great opportunity for them to share and express their feelings; Jill treasures the special time and relationships with these students. This past November, Jill presented a workshop called “How Art Keeps Us Young” on the health and wellness theme at Berwick by the Sea, a senior living facility in Campbell River. "Jill exemplifies the commitment and dedication needed to be successful working in the Art and Health Field," Ken says. "As she herself will tell you, it is as much a growth experience for her as a benefit for her clients. Compassion is at the heart of why Jill is such an amazing artist." If you’ve never experienced Jill’s work or simply love seeing what she does, her work will be on exhibit at the Tidemark Theatre in Campbell River until February 28, 2017 | jillparisrody.com A part of coastal communities griegseafoodcanada.com WWW.NORTHISLANDCOMPASS.CA | 23

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