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Tilbury Manor Collective Art Project program helps residents express themselves
The "Collective Art Project" program at Tilbury Manor provides resident participants with opportunities for relaxation and self-expression, as well as socialization and a connection with others.
"By providing a safe, calm environment for creative expression, the program is improving our residents’ focus, concentration, cognition, dexterity, and assisting with decreasing stress levels and potential depression," explains Jan Menard, Tilbury Manor's recreation manager.
The program offers quality art materials for the residents to use. At any given time, there can be anywhere from one to five residents participating on a project, with varying degrees of time investment involved. Larger projects, such as posters for example, can take well over a month to complete.
"Back in 2017, as a result of a 'one-time activity' success, I decided that this simply had to be a regularly scheduled activity," adds Menard. "The program is now designated on our monthly calendar of events. And creating a name for it was as simple, as our residents work together collectively, with purpose, to create something beautiful for the home."
Resident-artists determine the colour scheme, utilizing specialized water colour pencils to ensure the ease of application while providing professional-looking results. Once a picture is complete, water is lightly brushed over the coloured areas, turning it into a water-colour painted medium. The completed water-colour piece of art is then dated, signed by the resident-artists and framed.
The walls of Tilbury Manor have since been adorned with many of these completed works of art. Some have been displayed at local senior's fairs, gaining quite the notoriety around the local community, and some have been donated as door prizes at community events.
"Our residents have just completed another masterpiece as a fundraiser raffle prize for our Tilbury Manor Family Council," says Menard. "We can clearly see the pride and sense of accomplishment that our residents take in their work, along with the camaraderie of a shared interest. It's so rewarding for us to see how the program enriches our resident's lives."
In photos (top to bottom): Residents Mary G. and Anna W. working on a collective art project, entitled Tree of Life; Tilbury Manor staff member Valeria Adams presents a piece entitled Butterflies to a door prize recipient at the Blenheim Senior’s Fair in 2018.