SOLON– Dick Sjolund and Wilderness Studio assistant Emilee McNeal were delivering gifts a bit ahead of Santa at the Solon Nursing Care Center in December.
Sjolund surprised residents with framed photos (printed at his studio in rural Solon) and little fanfare. Sjolund has been taking portraits of the care center staff at his Wilderness Studio. He decided against a holiday sale of his pictures in favor of gifting his photos, many of which were taken and exhibited around the world.
“If I was in a little tiny room at Christmas time I’d want something to break up the day,” he said in a phone interview from New Mexico.
Mountains, oceans, flowers and birds make up the subject matter of the new artwork that will decorate rooms at the care center.
Sjolund wrapped 70 photos so that each package’s contents were a surprise to him and the recipients.
The former biology professor turned shutterbug has been operating his Wilderness Studio off Sugar Bottom Road for years and recently upgraded the studio to include a classroom area where he teaches Photoshop and digital camera techniques. You can find out more about Wilderness Studio at Sjolund’s website: www.wilderness-studio.com .
Sjolund spoke highly of the Solon Nursing Care Center’s reputation and said he’s known residents and family of residents there who consistently rave about the level of care, facility and services in Solon’s only nursing home.
Care center activities coordinator Mattie Koehn said residents enjoyed getting some great art for their walls, but they really liked having Sjolund as a visitor.
“We welcome volunteers to visit anytime,” she said, adding that there’s “always something going on at the center.”
You can find out more about the Solon Nursing Care Center, including ways to volunteer, by calling 319-624-3492, or visiting its website at www.solonretirementvillage.com .
The Solon Retirement Village was started in 1973 and is comprised of the Solon Nursing Care Center, Solon Memory Care, Solon Skilled Therapy Center, Solon Assisted Living, Terrace Lane- Independent Condos, and Terrace Lane Glen- Independent Condos.