Creative Senior Adults Busily Painting Masterpieces

FamilyElderly Care

  • Author Les Scarborough
  • Published August 22, 2012
  • Word count 580

The baby-boomers have become senior citizens and are discovering art at the same time. Senior art classes and programs are full of energetic individuals learning to express themselves through painting and drawing. Researchers say that art helps folks to cope with stress and trauma in their lives, as well as increasing self awareness. Art serves as a way to explore both the past and the present and previous training is not required. Seniors benefit from creating their own art no matter what their skill levels currently are. Studies suggest that regardless of specific skills, the practice of any form of art benefits social, physical and mental health.

Relationships are enriched with art and getting together with others in a program or class encourages socialization. The practice of art techniques begins to encourage the mind to see the world is new ways and provides a very unique and real sense of accomplishment and happiness. Art therapy improves the quality of life for seniors and depression fades away. A feeling of being in charge returns, along with an increased ability to make choices because there are countless choices to make in each work of art.

A ten-year-long study done at Columbia University Medical Center has associated a positive outlook with health benefits. Another two-year study of three-hundred seniors found that the art students had better health than those who did not participate, who also saw deterioration in their health. The active artists in the group were less depressed, used fewer medications, were less lonely, and had higher morale, along with being socially more active.

Many communities across the USA are reaching out to seniors, based on the above findings, to encourage them to discover the real rewards of creating a new art hobby in their lives. New York City's Department of Cultural Affairs has created a program to match seniors with artists on a citywide basis for a seven-month-long residency program to encourage artistic creativity. In Chicago, Mather's-More Than a Café offers painting and art classes for seniors. In Los Angeles, older adults are encouraged to participate in Art Festivals held in various locations throughout the city. In Atlanta, the Parks and Recreation Department has Senior Centers which offer a wide variety of art classes specifically for seniors to encourage the "growth of new brain cells and make you feel young and energized."

When the younger generation views the artistic talents of seniors it changes the way they view their elders. They become more appreciative and begin to value and view them as mentors, tutors, teachers, advisors and creators who are eager to share the wisdom they've gained through long life experiences.

In the Village of Stone Mountain, Georgia there is one enterprising entrepreneur who has come up with a way to help his fellow seniors make a little money from their hobbies, too. When Les Scarborough discovered that the senior budding artists at a local retirement home were simply hiding their art work under the bed, he decided to open a gallery in the village specifically to share their art work and sell it.

Les features the artwork of seniors at the Clothesline Art and Fine Art Treasures Gallery, along with his own photography, in downtown Stone Mountain, GA. He turns their artwork into post cards, greeting cards, DVDs, coffee table books, and calendars along with gallery quality Giclée prints on canvas and fine art papers. Giclée is the ultimate method for producing stunning gallery quality fine art prints.

Les Scarborough features a digital art gallery online as well as artwork and photography at the Clothesline Art and Fine Art Treasures Gallery in downtown Stone Mountain, Ga. The digital art prints are available on canvas and fine art papers using the Giclee mewthod of reproduction. Also available are greeting cards, DVDs, Calendars, coffee table books, post cards, etc.

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