Accounting Careers Instructor Wins $1,000 in National Art Competition

Doris Loes enters mixed media painting in Art Instruction Schools 93rd Annual Art Competition and takes home Professional Category Purchase Award.

Even though she teaches accounting, Doris Loes didn’t use numbers to paintIndividuals, an oil pastel and acrylic still life of yellow cooking onions that won a $1,000 Professional Category Purchase Award in the Art Instruction Schools 93rd Annual Art Competition. Instead, Loes employed a lifetime of experience exploring a wondrous talent she discovered as a small girl.

“I’ve been painting and drawing since I was a kid,” Loes said. “I grew up in Clinton, Minn., and because we didn’t have money to spend on coloring books, I created my own.”

Loes started teaching at DCTC in 1979 and holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. She’s been a certified public accountant since 1983 and previously taught as an adjunct instructor at the University of Minnesota, the University of St. Thomas and Metropolitan State University.

As a teacher, Loes makes sure that her students develop an aptitude for critical thinking, an adaptable process that will serve them well in both their professional and personal lives. Her teaching method promotes skills that will propel graduates of theAccounting program toward challenging and rewarding careers.

Loes sees her own devotion to art in a similar light and believes that painting holds a world of promise for her upcoming retirement years. Once she’s done earning her livelihood as a college accounting instructor, she plans on a career as a full-time professional painter.

“Winning this award is a step in the right direction,” she said. “By entering different contests, you put your name out there and get a feel for the competition. You also learn what you need to do to get better.”

Jim Stuart, vice president of Art Instruction Schools , noted that the still lifeIndividuals will appear with the competition’s other winners in an upcoming issue ofIllustrator, the school’s official art magazine. In April, the school, which was founded in 1914, will showcase the competition’s winning entries on its Web site.

“Art Instruction Schools congratulates Doris Loes as one of our professional winners,” Stuart added. “Her work showed strong composition, skilled control of her medium and vibrant color use. More than 600 entries were received and judged for our 93rd Annual Art Competition. We award five $1,000 Professional Category Purchase Awards each year along with one $1,000 Grand Purchase Prize. Professional awards are for alumni who have generated income from their art.”

Detail from Ramsey

Detail from Ramsey

Loes works in several different media, including watercolor, pastel, oil pastel, and pen and ink, the latter frequently engaged in pet portraits, one of her favorite and most popular subjects. In fact, two such portraits, one of her Maine Coon, Ramsey, and one of her black lab, Dama—both endearingly realistic—hang on the walls of her college office.

“I’m taking various workshops to improve my painting and learn how best to market my work,” she said. “It’s nice that I’m not under any pressure to make money as a painter after I retire—but that’s my goal and I’m looking forward to making it happen.”

Loes is not alone in her desire to pursue a dream of working after retirement. According to a recent survey conducted by AARP, more than 80 percent of baby boomers plan on working either full-time or part-time after leaving their primary career. Balancing relaxation time with work is the hallmark of a new-style retirement.

The National Association of Baby Boomer Women reports that options abound for retirees who wish to mix leisure with labor. Seasonal employment, entrepreneurship, real estate, teaching, “homeshoring,” aka working at home, and other occupational arenas present countless opportunities for seniors riding the age wave to enhanced prosperity.

Dakota County Technical College offers academic programs that give nontraditional students the tools they need to begin new careers in many of the occupations profiled in The Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Minnesota residents aged 62 and older receive a sizable tuition discount for credit-based courses at DCTC, paying $20 per credit plus student fees.