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Artist Brings Joy To Residents At Good Shepherd Home, Watford City

 

April 29, 2020 | View PDF

Nina Golden resident of Good Shepherd Home is sitting by her window that artist Melissa Gordon created for her on Tuesday, April 21. (Photo submitted)

Artist Melissa Gordon arrived on the grounds of the Good Shepherd Home on Tuesday, April 21 and visited the outside of 50 residents' windows. Gordon individually communicated with them through the window to design a piece of art that the resident was be able to watch come to life, as well as enjoy for weeks to come. 

This project was made possible by a partnership with the North Dakota Council on the Arts, the McKenzie County's Long X Arts Foundation and McKenzie County Healthcare Systems as a way to help combat loneliness and increase interaction during this time of isolation for the residents. Funding was made possible by the Art for Life grant, which helps the organizations bring in professional artists, musicians and area students to entertain and engage with the residents throughout the year. 

Kristin Rhone, Good Shepherd Home activities director, said, "This activity was not only fun for the residents it was very meaningful. We individually went to residents and asked them what makes you happy. We then took that information to Mel and together came up with what we thought they would like on their window. The end result was more than we could have imagined. Mel put her heart and soul into each one of the paintings and the residents absolutely love them. To see their faces after the painting was so completely rewarding and exactly why we decided to do this activity. It brought them joy during a time when joy seems to be so limited. We hope to have Mel come back in the future for other projects."

After Melissa's visit, family members were encouraged to coordinate a window visit to add to the art on the window with washable paint and markers. 

In addition to Tuesday's activities, area rancher Callie Thorne and her dad, Wentyn Wold brought a few horses for the residents to view outside the facility. On Wednesday, April 22, Sandy Reiker brought over chickens and bunnies. 

Melissa Gordon has been an artist all of her life, selling her first commissioned works at 12 years old She has won numerous awards for her realistic renderings around the state and has many works in private collections across the country. Melissa has had a number of solo shows and participates in many regional group shows throughout the year.

Artist Melissa Gordon puts the finishing touches on "Snoopy" (photo submitted).

After over 10 years as a graphic artist, designer and art director, she has worked independently the last 15 years as a freelance artist and illustrator specializing in drawing mediums and a return to fine arts. Her work is currently featured in and on books, murals, greeting cards, rubber stamps, embroidery designs and even satellite dishes.

Melissa also enjoys teaching and has taught in a variety of settings to age groups ranging from kindergarten to senior citizen. She belongs to many local arts organizations and was a founding member of Bismarck Downtown Artists Cooperative. She has served as a board member of Dakota West Arts Council and was appointed to the North Dakota Council on the Arts in 2015 by Governor Jack Dalrymple. In 2016, she was named as Bismarck Arts and Galleries Citation Award winner.

In addition to her work as an artist, she is also an active member of the community and does volunteer work for many area organizations. To learn more about Melissa Gordon visit http://www.mel-ink.com/about.html.

 

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