As a young girl growing up in New Kensington, Pennsylvania, Concordia at Cabot resident Flo Parker always had a casual interest in art.
“When I was in school, I was scribbling,” Flo said. “I loved to draw little houses and trees.”
After she graduated from high school, Flo got a job at Alcoa, an aluminum manufacturer in Pittsburgh, and didn’t give much more thought to art. She worked until she married her late husband, Bill. The couple had three children – a son and two daughters – and all of them ended up being artistically gifted, which brought art back into her life again.
“My daughter Colleen was always in art classes in school and very good,” Flo said.
Colleen went on to attend an art school in New Kensington as one of its first students, and she soon had a student of her own: Flo.
“I started painting after I moved to Concordia,” Flo said. “Colleen was my inspiration; she’s very creative, and I had never really thought of painting until she got me into it.”
Flo and her husband had moved into Concordia at Cabot Haven retirement living in 1996, and Flo started taking the art classes offered there. She primarily used watercolors, the medium of choice at Concordia’s art classes, but Colleen had her try other types of paint as well. Concordia’s art teacher, Susan Beattie, was also a tremendous influence on Flo’s work.
“Susan is a great teacher,” Flo said. “I can’t make it to the classes anymore, but it was so nice to learn from her.”
Flo has painted many, many paintings, and she even featured some well-known parts of the Concordia at Cabot campus in her works.
“My favorite painting I’ve made is of the old red barn that used to sit on Concordia’s property,” Flo said. “We had a lot of fun there.”
The barn Flo painted was originally built in 1919, and housed much of Concordia’s history, including Concordia’s Summer Festivals, sports camps, church camps and summer theater. When a nearby farmer lost his barn in a fire in the early 2000s, the barn was relocated to his farm as a donation, and the Lund Care Center expansion was built near the land where it once stood. Her painting now hangs in Lund in the personal care activities room.
Paintings by Flo and other Concordia residents were also used to help others. The paintings were printed on greeting cards and sold to benefit Concordia’s Good Samaritan Endowment Fund, which helps residents who can no longer afford the full cost of their care.
Flo has also won awards for her paintings at local shows in Saxonburg, Pennsylvania, and sold quite a few. She painted many different landscapes and pictures, including the boat piece featured in Concordia’s calendar. In addition to her art, she and her husband traveled extensively – to all 50 states – and she also played the guitar and yodeled.
To learn more about the senior care services, physical therapy and retirement living options offered at Concordia at Cabot, visit www.ConcordiaCabot.org or schedule a tour today. Call our administrative headquarters at 724-352-1571 or message us through the Contact Form on our website. To request a free copy of the 2019 Concordia Calendar, “Brush Strokes,” call the Public Relations Department at 724-352-1571, ext. 8266.