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ECF resident Bertile Polk becomes published artist

Shirley Burnham / The Prentiss Headlight – The artwork of Bertile Polk was chosen out of over 200 entries to be "September" in a calendar produced by the Mississippi Healthcare Foundation Association. Jeff Davis County ECF Activities Director Wanda Hamilton (left) displays the calendar next to Polk's artwork.

Shirley Burnham / The Prentiss Headlight – The artwork of Bertile Polk was chosen out of over 200 entries to be “September” in a calendar produced by the Mississippi Healthcare Foundation Association. Jeff Davis County ECF Activities Director Wanda Hamilton (left) displays the calendar next to Polk’s artwork.

With a twinkle in her eyes ECF resident Bertile Polk states she is “Ms. September” in a 2014 calendar.

The painting is actually of a cabin in the woods ECF Activities Director Wanda Hamilton submitted for Polk to the contest sponsored by the MS Health Care Foundation Assn. of extended care facility residents’ work.

Residents and staff both were overjoyed when the announcement came that her painting was the September winner chosen out of over 200 entries but no one was more thrilled than Bertile Polk herself.
“I never painted until about a year and a half ago when artist Tom Stuart of Bassfield volunteered to give lessons at ECF. I wish I had done this years ago,” states the 91-year-old.

Hamilton says the class began with a large number of residents then became concentrated to those who really were interested and enjoyed painting and Polk was at the head of the class.

“I told Mr. Stuart when I got as good as he is I’m going to get me an apartment in New York City and get rich!” Polk joked.

This delightful lady brings joy to the residents and staff of JDC Extended Care Facility through her ready smile and sense of humor. She is very comfortable in her home at ECF where she has been a resident for the last two years and loves to aid newcomers in their transition.

“Now don’t take a picture of my bed. I have all my stuff there,” she states but beams with pride as she shows the photographs on her wall of children, grandchildren, great and great-greats up to five generations together in some.

Polk was awarded a winner’s plaque and a lithograph of her painting.

In reference to her picture in the calendar beside her painting Polk says, “If I had known she (Wanda Hamilton) was going to take my picture I would have worn my bikini!”

You can contact ECF Activities Director Wanda Hamilton at 601-792-1160 for more information on purchasing this special calendar.