June Olson Profile

Nova Scotia artist June Olson is a longtime CNIB donor - and her gift comes from the heart.

A painter for most of her life, June began to notice in the mid-1980s that there was something wrong with her vision. When she consulted her doctor in 1987, she was told she had age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of vision loss in Canadians age 50 and over.

As an artist, vision loss could have spelled disaster for June. But with help from CNIB, she learned how to use a tabletop magnifying device – a closed circuit television, or CCTV - to enlarge not only printed material, but the pieces of art she was working on.

Having begun her career as a medical illustrator in Washington, D.C., she was accustomed to drawing from coloured slides under a microscope, so using a CCTV was not a big adjustment for her. It allows her to fill in fine details in her paintings, such as birds or trim on a house, by bringing sections of the work into focus.

“My vision is blurred,” says June, “but with my magnifier I can see detail. The machine is my lifeline,” she adds.

A longtime member of the Quirks Gallery co-op in Chester, Nova Scotia, June strives to encourage young painters to follow their dreams and to inspire other Canadians with AMD.

She supports CNIB financially, and has also donated some of her work for use on the organization’s Christmas cards.

“I benefit so much from my contact with CNIB that giving is a priority with me,” she explains.

Help Us Make a Difference

From time to time, we reach out to Canadians for donations to ensure that CNIB is on hand for individuals who are searching for the services and support necessary to enjoy a good quality of life while living with vision loss. Please give generously.