Stained glass art and mosaic creations keep our residents engaged.

Stained glass art and mosaic creations keep our residents engaged.

Our Resident Services Program assists Villa Victoria Residents with a lot of different services and activities to keep them engaged as a part of this community.

One activity that we’ve implemented, and that has been a huge success, is Leslie Doherty’s stained glass virtual workshops.

Leslie pre-packs and delivers everything needed and then, via Zoom, works with the residents on creating beautiful pieces they then get to keep.

We sat down with her to learn more about how this process works and how her workshops have empowered each individual’s creativity capabilities.

Hi Leslie, could you tell our audience a bit about yourself and how you ended up teaching these workshops?

I’ve been doing stained glass for 33 years. I picked it up when my daughter was first born and I also have a Masters as an occupational therapist. I started my business working from home and throughout the years I’ve been able to nest what is now my fifth studio. What is nice about what I do, is that I love going out into communities and this has allowed me to combine my two passions as an artist and occupational therapist.

What interested you the most about this collaboration with IBA and specifically with the Resident Services Program?

What I like most about this relationship with the Resident Services Program, is that it’s an opportunity to bring something different into the communities. Usually glass is not something people have a tendency to work with, yet it’s a real art form, not just any craft.

I love that I'm in different types of environments and it doesn’t matter what the capabilities of the participants are, I'm able to adapt the programs so that everyone can succeed. I love coming into an environment where I can engage with the people and help them through their own creative process.

What is the goal for these workshops and how does it align with IBA’s vision of supporting residents of Villa Victoria?

My main goal is to compliment those that attend because most of the time they’re trying something they’ve never done before and I try to be sensitive about it. I want to offer them a creative process where they don’t have to think about anything else except doing something using their hands and enjoying the colors, enjoying the textures and coming up with a product they can be very proud of.

One of the great things about mosaics is that it’s the “Art of Imperfection”, so you don’t need to be an artist, you don’t need to have any experience. My goal is that anyone will succeed by offering them something new in a very safe and supportive environment.

Are you doing these workshops virtually?

Yes, the Zoom workshops have been very nice. I feel we’re still able to have a group and I love when they ask questions to me or even to one another. To adapt to this virtual teaching, I cut the glass in advance and provide kits ready to go which provides convenience for everyone involved.

I provide little packets with pre-cut glass in different colors and residents put it together like a puzzle. It’s amazing how they enjoy this, and the fact that there is no right or wrong makes them enjoy the novelty even more.

What kind of workshops have you taught for our residents?

We do different things each time. Some require grout but some simpler ones don’t.

We do plant pots decorated with glass – and those can be painted, too – we do picture frames, we do small and large tiles, we do mirror frames, we also do simpler projects like suncatchers.

Do you have any fun memories about these workshops you’d like to share with us?

Oh, there are a lot and I’m always amazed at what people come up with.

From my last workshop with the Resident Services Program, someone had made a beautiful rainbow or flowers and it’s remarkable how fast they put ideas into work. Sometimes it takes me longer to create and I’ve been doing this for a long time.

It brings me great pleasure to see how the simplicity of these projects make for beautiful pieces anyone can do.

We need to stop judging ourselves and let the process evolve. I have a 100% success rate, nobody leaves my class not feeling better than when they arrived and I make sure it always happens. Students have to have fun!

If you wish to support our Resident Services Program and the crucial services they provide to IBA’s vibrant community, please visit and contribute today!