Nostradamus still makes the front page of the Weekly World News now and then, but an apocalyptic event has yet to arrive to end life on earth.
That hasnâ€™t stopped Robert Gelineau from revealing what the possible end of modern society might look like some day.
A painting and drawing instructor in Kwantlenâ€™s fine arts department for over 10 years, Vancouver resident Gelineau spends his spare time creating scenes from a potential post-apocalyptic world on canvasses in his Gastown studio.
Inspired by classical still life painting and the shock value of horror films, Gelineau works diligently to develop detailed scenes of natural disaster that depict the end of human society and our contemporary world.
Chronicle photographer Justin Langille visited Gelineau in his studio to discuss the ideas behind his work and the problems involved in teaching painting to students in era when the lure of technology has pulled the study of art into a state of disarray.
Afternoon naps and tea parties for senior citizens in Langley? Not likely.
Kwantlenâ€™s Gerontology-based Therapeutic Recreation students put together a lively Successful Aging Festival on the Langley campus on Friday, Nov. 27.
The 20 students graduating from the program this year had to plan an event as part of their course requirements. Instructor Carol Hansen said she was extremely pleased with the outcome of event, which the students have been planning since September. The money raised from raffle tickets and donations will go toward community activities for seniors.
GBTR student Jenni Scott said students in the program had sent out posters and flyers to homes and throughout the community to promote the Successful Aging Festival.
The festival, which included over 30 kiosks that supported senior recreation, as well as a tarot-card reader and door prizes, lured many senior citizens from Langley and surrounding communities.
â€œItâ€™s important to spread awareness to the community about senior-recreation,â€ said soon-to-be graduating student Aubrey Morrison. â€œNot a lot of people know that there are activity groups or outreach programs available.â€
Robin Bandenieks from the Fort Langley Artists group was there to promote an active interest in the arts to the aging community.
â€œIâ€™m here to hopefully talk someone into taking up painting as a hobby,â€ said Bandenieks. â€œ[Painting] can improve cognitive skills in older people,â€ she said, also noting that it keeps the brain active and is a defense against the effects of Alzheimerâ€™s disease, which is common among the elderly.
Volunteer Parish nurse and senior citizen Agnes Bauer from the Ladner United Church was also there to promote workshops and activities for the community. â€œWe run a disabilities support group,â€ said Bauer, but wanted to inform that seniors need the same type of counseling that younger people doâ€”including issues with sex and drugs.
â€œWe just had a very successful HIV workshop,â€ she said. â€œSome seniors think AIDS and HIV is not an issue for them, but theyâ€™re mistaken if [they] think theyâ€™re getting out of this life without knowing someone with HIV or AIDS.â€ Bauer also made a point of speaking on the churchâ€™s addictions program, which ranges from addictions to shopping, sex, and, of course, drugs.
Langley Seniors Centre leaders Donna Benoit and Arlene Brown had a lot to offer the seniorâ€™s community, with an extensive outreach program for lonely or dependant seniors and an adult day centre to provide relief for caregivers. The centre has worked closely with Kwantlen, they said, and has helped inform people about their programs.
Brown emphasized that awareness about the programs have become increasingly important. â€œHowever old you are now,â€ she said, â€œyouâ€™re going to be a senior one day.â€
The campus was free of paid-parking for the day of the event.
Ceramic tiles made by the Fraser Valley Potterâ€™s Guild, Kwantlen staff, alumni and students are currently on display in the atrium at the Surrey campus, waiting to be mounted in the library.
David Lloyd, ceramics instructor and vice-president of Fraser Valley Potters’ Guild, was in charge of the project, which saw between 40 and 50 volunteers create 500 tiles.
According to Lloyd, the Fraser Valley Potters’ Guild, largely made up of Kwantlen students and alumni, donated clay and resources to Kwantlen Polytechnic University as a “thank-you” for allowing them to meet in the ceramics lab since the group was formed in the early ’70s.
Lloyd said it â€œtook hundreds of hours of work,â€ from May until September, to complete the tiles. They kept going until they â€œused up all the clay and resources.â€
Students and staff designed 30 tiles and made molds from the originals.
â€œCaring for molds is a whole piece of work in itself,â€ said Llyod. â€œSo, we did most of the mold-making in May and April and started pressing the tiles through June into July. Then everything else became firing and glazing.â€
The tiles are displayed temporarily on the floor of the atrium until they can be mounted in the library once renovations are complete.