I have known Ida Tong for over 15 years. While I was pondering how I would express how kind, knowledgeable, organized and hardworking Ida is.  I decided to tell a story about Ida and how she helped Andrew.   Ida was able to organize and complete all the things needed to make his wish come true in a few weeks.

When I worked on the Pallataive Care Floor at Toronto East General Hospital, where Andrew was admitted.  Andrew Nikolics arrived with 30 paintings rolled up in a suitcase.  Bold and colourful, the artwork speaks well for a man who apparently did not himself associate with many friends and relatives.  Andrew learned that he had only a few months to live.  His last wish was to show his work in an exhibition.  With help from the hospital staff Andrew’s wish was made known to fellow artist Ida Tong, who finally fought this to fruition.

Ida spent time talking with Andrew to make sure that the exhibiton was exactly how he wanted it to be.  It was Ida who worked for hours and days and weeks to organize the artwork, stretch frames and canvases, and finally arrange an exhibition for Andrew at the hospital.

“When the show was all set up in the Garden Room, the PT brought Andrew in to his art exhibition in a wheelchair.  He was alert and observant” Ida said, “The room was filled with joy and happiness, and the sun beamed with radiance through the garden windows.  Everybody was looking at the paintings with such pleasure.  Andrew was crowded by peopled who wanted to know about his paintings.  Within the first hour and a half we sold ten paintings.”

Andrew happily and generously agreed to have the proceeds of all his work be donated to charity. Only two days after his exhibition Andrew Nikolics passed away.  The nurse who was with him said that Andrew was at total peace, his dream had come true.

Ida Tong is a talented, determined, thoughtful, caring person.  I am so proud to call this accomplished artist my teacher and friend.

Katie Hanson
Nurse

I love Ida Tong’s paintings! They include a wide range of styles – childlike expressionism, surreal fantasy, abstraction, and photo realism. Whatever the genre, Ida’s work is never shallow, and never trite. It has been my privilege to know the artist for many years, watching her work evolve, and collecting some smaller pieces that continue to bring pleasure to my senses and insight to my soul. I feel that Ida’s paintings may truly be described as ‘meditations on possibilities in our shared humanity’….. innocence, peace, joy, freedom, respect, gratitude, and love. One of Ida’s paintings which I have in my collection is called SPRING FLOWER DANCE

springflowerdance_anddiary2

The image on the right is from my personal journal. I am including it in order to illustrate how this particular flower painting was of great help to me in a most challenging time, when I was taming ‘my tiger within’. And so it goes…The tiger has long since been tamed, and SPRING FLOWER DANCE remains on my studio wall, inspiring daily endeavours.

Elizabeth Bacon
Artist

My daughter, along with her friends, have attended Ida’s art class for years. I like Ida’s class because she not only teaches kids how to draw beautifully but also teach them how to have a beautiful mind. She treats the kids, and their arts, with kindness, acceptance and understanding. She makes the kids feel good about themselves, see the beauty out of ordinary things, and be artistically creative in such dull materialized world, along with tons of fun. How cool is that!

Vivian Ho
Student's Mother

My daughter has been studying art with Ida for about eight years. Ida creates a safe, encouraging and calm environment for children to experiment in. She is kind, generous and fun, and takes genuine delight in the artistic efforts of her students, regardless of ability. I highly recommend her as an art teacher!

Anne Marie Kaskens
Adult Education Programs - TCDSB