By Bill Zimmerman
President, Arts Council Menifee
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 her hands that includes oil paintings, acrylics, watercolors, ceramics, dozens of quilts and 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," said Arts Council Menifee Vice President and Visual Arts Division Chair Carol South. "She can always be counted on to add her unique touch to whatever she creates.”
Cormier’s interest in the fine arts was first manifested through music. As a young child growing up in Massachusetts, she learned to play the violin, and continued to play 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 admires his wife's work and is astonished at the quantity and quality of her work.
“I’ve counted close to 50 quilts she has made, including a handmade quilt for each of our five grown sons,” said Bill.
Cormier has enjoyed sewing all of her life, including making suits for her boys when they were young. She has also constructed detailed dollhouses, and handmakes tiny outfits for American Girl dolls.
Cormier said she is grateful her mother encouraged her family to pursue the arts and has fond memories of playing music with her father and sisters during her youth.
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 South, who also resides in the Oasis.
For more information on this or previous Artists of the Month, please visit their website.