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WJ hosts special art show

Nursing home residents exhibit their creativity

Anna Kropf, Staff Writer

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Pastels. Watercolor. Music. Smiles of the elderly. The Rotunda hummed with good vibes from beautiful art and its creators thanks to a very special and successful art show.

On Wednesday, April 17, art teacher Ms. Cheril Walker and the activity director of Bath Creek Estates, Sue Augustine, facilitated an art show of work by residents of the Bath Creek Estates nursing home. The artwork was created by people with dementia through a program known as Opening Minds Through Art (OMA).

(Anna Kropf)
Residents of Bath Creek Estates had a chance to display their art in the Rotunda through a program called Opening Minds Through Art (OMA).

The work was widely abstract, made with texturized mediums such as bubble wrap and even tin foil. The purpose of keeping it abstract was to encourage creativity without any pressure to demonstrate artistic skill.

Juniors Adrianna Brown, Maddie Salata, McKenna McEachen, Laney Buck, and seniors Cassandra Girardi, Stacey Che, and Katie Musgrave helped the residents produce the artwork over the course of six weeks. Katie Musgrave explained,  “[The residents] were the creators, but we helped them with each step.”

Toward the end each session, the volunteers asked the residents “connective” questions about their art, including brainstorming a title, to encourage creativity. Cassandra stated, “OMA gave the residents positive brain stimulation and unique personal interaction.”

Katie and Cassandra each worked one-on-one with a resident for several weeks. Despite the residents not always remembering who their regular helpers were, the weekly meetings still made for friendship.

Cassandra regards the experience as wholesome: “It was great to be able to create a bond through art with my partner.” Katie agreed, noting, “I got to see my partner feel the way I feel when I create.”

All the WJ girls are artists and were happy to share their talents in such an uplifting way.

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WJ hosts special art show