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Summerside artist finds ‘place to land’ in art, community group

Jeremy Paynter, centre, holds the drawing of Trinity United Church he presented to the congregation March 10. He’s part of the Prepare-Challenge-Create day program lead by Catherine and Jim Dickson, standing.
Jeremy Paynter, centre, holds the drawing of Trinity United Church he presented to the congregation March 10. He’s part of the Prepare-Challenge-Create day program lead by Catherine and Jim Dickson, standing. - Alison Jenkins
SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. —
Jeremy Paynter explains his love for historic buildings in Summerside.
Jeremy Paynter explains his love for historic buildings in Summerside.

Jeremy Paynter is happiest when he’s got a pen in his hand, sketching on a fresh sheet of artist’s paper.

“I’ve been at this since I was old enough to hold a pencil, mum says,” Paynter said.

The Summerside artist recently donated one of his pieces to Trinity United Church at a special ceremony.

“I was sort of delighted,” said Paynter.

Paynter had drawn the church as it looked before the renovations, back when it had a clay basement.

He worked from a small, faded newspaper photo and was glad to be finished with it.

“When I got it done, I said throw that in the garbage,” said Paynter.

Jeremy does a lot of his art work at a day program lead by Christine and Jim Dickson.

“We do everything that’s imaginable in here,” said Paynter.

The program has been at Trinity since January 2018, but it’s the continuation of a program started in the 1990s. It’s a place for people to belong and be appreciated. 

 “It’s a like a family. Some of these folks have been together for quite a while. So there is an acceptance. It’s a place to land,” said Jim. 

“And a place to launch and be who we are,” said Christine.

Paynter and about 12 others gather each day at the Prepare-Challenge-Create day program for adults with intellectual and/or physical disabilities.

The semi- and fully-independent adults work on life skills and develop their natural talents – like Paynter’s art and enthusiasm for history.

“He has an amazing memory. It’s almost eidetic,” said Jim.

Most of Paynter’s art features historic buildings.

“I love doing older parts of the city,” he said.

Local librarians all know him, even the library in Kensington sets books aside for Paynter, said Christine.

He has a number of buildings in mind for future projects. An old farmhouse, with a barn that’s no longer there is vivid in his mind’s eye.

But his next piece will be the Long River Presbyterian Church, moved to Avonlea Village in Cavendish in the early 2000s. Paynter has found an artists’ pencil in the perfect shade of yellow to match the church in his memories.

“When they dismantled it all in pieces and they took it down, my heart was in my throat.”

Paynter prayed for Jesus to protect the building.

“I guess he did,” he said.


Twitter.com/AlisonEBC
 


5 things to know:

  • Prepare-Challenge-Create Day Program is for adults with mild to moderate intellectual and/ or physical disabilities.
  • Happens from Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. at Trinity United Church, 90 Spring Street in Summerside.
  • Offers instruction in life skills, independent living and individual goal setting.
  • Brings clients into the community and offers job coaching.
  • Provides a relaxed and supportive environment.

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