Residents at Horizons Care Center are rediscovering art, and in the process they are experiencing new talents and ways of self-expression that enhance their own lives and the lives of others.
A renewed interest in art at the center is the result of the residents themselves. Works by Horizons artists were on display in the front lobby during a showing last Saturday afternoon,
Activities assistant Kathy Meehan notes that the center's arts group, which has grown into a mini-art society among residents, provides a way to increase a sense of well-being. Meehan told the DCI, "The activities department encourages residents to reach their fullest potential. When they see what they can accomplish (in art), they see they are helping themselves improve."
Resident Marie Kenyon had ten works displayed in the art show held last Saturday. She started doing art "when I was bored one day," she said.
Since then, she has advanced in the activity. Other residents have been attracted to art projects and have made big strides in their accomplishments. Kenyon explained how seeing others blossom in that way when they "put hours and hours of work and their hearts and souls" into a project is a fulfilling part of the activity.
"It is amazing to see the women who were afraid at first, and now are doing wonderful things," Kenyon said.
The art supplies are kept in an activity room where residents are free to compose and create as the muse moves them to. Materials used are mostly colored pencils, markers, crayons and watercolor. The projects are geared to beginning-level artists using a paper "canvas" with pre-lined subjects to complete.
Meehan explained that there was an active arts group at Horizons a few years ago and that the new group is a revival.
Resident Wilma Cordell said that the many projects she has completed are done for her daughter or for other residents who come into the room to admire the work.
Resident Dorothy Sisson sees the completed paintings and drawings as a craft activity and recalls the handmade pottery she once created and finished. The pottery was sold to help fund an Indian mission.
Virginia Menke said that "I got into it and just kept going. We get a lot of encouragement from the staff." Virginia has completed landscape scenes and still-life works, but she says her favorite theme is birds, and a rendering of a bright red cardinal nearby shows lots of attentive work.
Kenyon's roommate at Horizons is Rose Lopez. Her works display vivid, intense colors in a variety of subjects, including geometric patterns.
"Little by little we saw such a big improvement in her. The more she painted the better she got," Kenyon said. "It is a way for us to express our feelings."