Recently I wrote about the challenges faced by people with reduced mobility in my post. “A Simple Outing.” In that blog I also mentioned that I facilitated an art group at the same care center. I thought I would expand upon that theme because the artists I work with every week are a true inspiration.
Artist’s Choice has been running for over two years, and there are dozens of paintings that have come out of the program. The painting you see is just one example of the work produced by an artist I have the privilege to help.
A regular group of participants shows up every Thursday afternoon. They look forward to Artist’s Choice and miss it when it is not included on the activity calendar. There is a wide range of experience in the art group, and no shortage of passion.
Every session starts with a lot of ‘setting up’ for people with reduced mobility or special needs. The artists work with Acrylic paint on canvas boards and there are enough materials to supply anyone who wants to attend. My role is to help with project layout, mix paint colours, and give pointers on technique if necessary. Everyone is welcome, and last March the program moved to a larger space with better natural light to accommodate more participants.
Discovering new talent often begins with someone coming into the weekly art session just ‘to look around’ along with claims that they are ‘no good at art’ or ‘don’t know how to paint’. That is fine, people are free to come and chat, or admire the art work of fellow residents.
But I love a good challenge, so if someone—anyone—is willing to try their hand at putting paint on canvas I jump on the opportunity to get them started. It does not matter if they want to paint a landscape, a still life, or something abstract. I am a big believer in empowerment and want to make sure that everyone gets a chance to express their creativity and unleash their inner artist. And then the magic happens.
I am so proud of the artists I get to work with; they overcome huge obstacles to create beauty and the results are amazing.