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­­­Catherine Adamson is an example of the perseverance that can be born from moments that force us to develop resilience. She is a dedicated artist, mother and grandmother, but also a champion for people’s rights.

Her journey in the arts began as a child, she loved drawing and painting. As a young child she began to develop her own style based on the Paint-By-Numbers, coloring technique. The lines were simply a guideline for her work. By fourteen years of age this style got the attention of her art teacher at a night class she was attending alongside her mother. He tried to convince Catherine’s mother that her work was unique and that she would do well at an art school in Germany. Catherine’s mother was no exception, the decision to let her young daughter move halfway across the world during her formative years, at a time before online communications were even a possibility, her mother opted to continue fostering her love for the arts from the safety of home.

            One of the most significant players in her development to date was Mr. Manderson. The rural Langley school that Catherine attended had their band class defunded. Many of the students viewed this class of utter importance as it had established itself as a coming of age experience, an opportunity to dabble in the arts. Mr. Manderson stepped up, rather than letting art fall by the wayside in his school, he decided to provide the students with the artistic opportunity he could fund himself, painting. He was an oil painter who loved creating landscapes with running horses on them, and this was what he offered the students in his class. Not lost on Catherine where the lessons Mr. Mandersons taught her by his selflessness in taking the class under his wing, sharing his love of art with them, bringing in his personal supplies, and acknowledging the importance of the art class for his students. All of these lessons, alongside the actual art instruction, set him up to be pivotal in Catherine’s lifelong pursuit of the arts.

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The art filled years of her youth took a new direction as she married, and her days filled instead with the playful laughs of her children. One of her daughters, Heidi, shared her interest in the arts, and Catherine was able to pass on the delight art gave her. Unfortunately, Heidi was hit by a drunk driver, resulting in two broken shinbones. Due to a series of doctor errors, her condition became complicated, and Heidi passed away at 17 years of age. The loss of her daughter caused Catherine to reflect, evaluate and pivot her life back to the arts. She completed a BA in Visual Arts and English, completed a massive painting for the reception area at her school, had artwork on display stolen (she took it as a huge compliment at the time), she wrote a book about her daughter, Heidi Dawn Klompas: Missed Opportunities, moved to Vancouver, won the lottery and traveled Europe!

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Inspired by the Masters and Gaudi Catherine came back with new aspirations. She joined andnow leads the Wrongful Death Law Reform Society aimed at implementing Wrongful Death Accountability Act, calling to accountability, consequences and re-training those involved in the wrongful deaths of their patients. She self published and distributed her books to all the local hospitals’ doctors’ lounges and portions of it are now being used in the UBC medical students’ curriculum. (This proved to be imperative when a friend of hers, Bob, suffered a broken bone and was being treated at VGH, when he questioned the doctor as to what his drip was for, the doctor responded “We don’t want another Klompas”, “Heidi Klompas?” Bob asked. Turned out the whole ward had read the book Catherine had dropped off in their doctors’ loung months before and had implemented the better practices suggested therein). She has also been producing art on a large scale and has paintings in many West End coffee shops and is a regular at West End Art Markets. She is also a regular at Granville Island, selling art and teaching people how to use her paint style in order to create their own masterpieces. She has visions of the West End as an art filled community with painted murals and mosaics at every turn. Much like some of the work she saw in Europe. Unfortunately, due to housing costs in the West End, she had to move out to Richmond in order to have the space needed to continue to produce her paintings.

Currently, she is working on her next endeavor, finding a space where she can have a solo show named 100 Adamsons, a collection of life’s work. She had been working in HR at an ESL school, alongside working on her paintings, but is looking for a patron who can help her dedicate herself to working in the arts. Painting, sharing a passion for painting, and saving lives, all in a day’s work for Catherine Adamson.

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