Lois Cormier Honored as August Artist of the Month
By Bill Zimmerman, President Arts Council Menifee
It is easy to find that “one word” that describes Lois Cormier . . . it is “Talented”.
Each month, Arts Council Menifee selects an artist to be honored, and this month’s recipient is especially impressive. A visit to her home reveals the many beautiful works by here hands including oil paintings, acrylics, watercolors, ceramics, dozens of quilts, stained glass lamps and windows, each room showcasing colorful displays of creativity.
Lois Cormier has been immersed in Menifee’s art circles since moving to the Oasis senior community in 2000. She is a founding member of the Oasis Fine Arts Group, and one of Arts Council Menifee’s founding patron members. Hers was one of the first framed works of art to be exhibited in the group’s art gallery, which is located at the Kay Ceniceros Community Center. She is also a member of the Oasis Quilt and Sew Guild.
“A multi-talented painter, quilter and musician, Lois is one of the most creative people I know. She can always be counted on to add her unique touch to whatever she creates”, observed Arts Council Menifee’s Vice President and Visual Arts Division Chair, Carol South.
Lois Cormier’s interest in the fine arts was first manifested through music as a young child growing up in Massachusetts while learning to play the violin. She played for many years before proceeding to the cello while attending art and music classes in college.
“I took every music class they offered, including music theory, string orchestra and quartet”, said Cormier. She has played cello in several community orchestras, including the Inland Valley Symphony and has performed at the Redlands Bowl.
Cormier’s husband Bill proudly proclaims his adoration for Lois and her talent. “I’ve counted close to fifty quilts she has made”, said Bill Cormier. “Including a hand made quilt for each of our five grown sons”, he added. Lois has enjoyed sewing all of her life including making suits for her boys when they were young. She has also constructed detailed dollhouses and hand makes tiny outfits for American Girl dolls.
Lois Cormier is grateful that her mother encouraged her family to pursue the arts, and has fond memories of playing music with her father and sisters during her youth. Hers is a world energized by color and visual beauty, and gratified by musical performance.
Many local artists in the valley have come to admire Cormier’s creativity and style, especially those craft minded friends she has made in the Oasis senior community. They all recognize her as one of their most talented friends. “We had a watercolor class together, and Lois always seemed to add a little extra to her pieces, creative details that made her pieces extra special”, said Carol South, who also resides in the Oasis.
Menifee Dentist Receives Honor for Art of Dance
By Bill Zimmerman, President Arts Council Menifee
The house lights darken, the room quiets, and suddenly the spotlight illuminates two graceful figures that begin to glide across the floor in unison. Such was the scene at last year’s “Menifee’s Got Talent” show hosted by Arts Council Menifee. The featured dance performance by Dr. Ruth Bol and her partner.
Bol’s performance added a theatrical presentation for the audience to enjoy, which complimented the show. Arts Council Menifee has selected Bol for its July recipient of “Artist of the Month” honor.
Dr. Bol’s artistic curiosity started as a young girl. Her passion in theatre and the arts were evident as a child. But her journey to the theater stage was met with hindrances.
“I struggled with childhood obesity”, recalls Bol. At her heaviest, she was190 pounds and wore a size 18 pants. Her mother was very concerned about her health and sought advice from a physician when she was 11 years old, who prescribed a weight loss diet and exercise plan.
As a tool to assist in her battle with weight loss, she turned to dancing as her exercise. She began by creating several dance videos at home, and soon had built enough confidence to join her middle school dance and theater team.
Upon entering high school she had successfully shed over 60 pounds and even made the cheerleading team. She continued to enjoy dancing, and learned all of the technical elements including costumes, sets and lighting to complete the context of the work and the theatrical presentation of it for an audience.
As Dr. Bol approached college, her focus turned to academics. Although she wanted to be a theatre major, it seemed more practical to be pre-med/dental. Her heart for giving and wanting to help people was solidified by an Indian Health Scholarship, which assisted with the cost of her education. After graduating and working with American Indian Tribes full time, she chose to return to school to complete a pediatric dental residency. She started her private practice in Menifee in 2009.
It was here in Menifee where Bol’s passion for dance was rekindled. “I signed up for ballroom/Latin dance classes at The Ballroom Villa Incanta, and my instructor Samantha Potter, who has danced professionally for over 30 years and even performed in Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video, inspired me to take dancing to a new level” said Bol. She has learned several dances including Cha Cha, Rumba, Salsa, Waltz, East Coast Swing, and Fox trot.
Dr. Bol is especially passionate about children. “I encourage kids to follow their artistic abilities and showcase them at the events hosted by Arts Council Menifee”, said Bol. Her newest project, a “Zumbathon” fundraiser, will be hosted by Menifee fitness 24/7 on July 19th. The fundraiser will be coordinated by the Rotary Club of Menifee, which will donate a portion of the proceeds to Menifee’s new Boys & Girls Club. All youth and dancers are encouraged to come to this great event for our community. In the spirit of dance and fitness, there will be a tribute to people who have motivated Dr. Bol to be fit, and to continue expressing her creativity through the art of dance.
Zumbathon information can be found by visiting the Rotary Club of Menifee’s website: menifeerotary.com