Art with the elderly – fostering creative spirit
In the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn, member of the Order of Malta, Richard Hall has been a guest teacher in the U3A art program at a retirement village. The program aims to provide learning opportunities for older people in a friendly, supportive and social environment, using the skills and abilities of the members themselves with an emphasis on learning for the love of it.
The art program has no pre-requisites of skill and during the 90 minute weekly sessions the artists are gradually introduced to the basic techniques in pastel, water colour and charcoal media. In doing so it fosters the creative spirit of the elderly residents while lifting their feeling of self-worth.
During the program Richard has noticed the participants remarkable progress, with one artist selling a piece at a local gallery. Most importantly there is the growing sense of community spirit as the artists share the delights of their creativity and discuss discovered techniques or experiments that worked. The session has also attracted residents who do not take part in art session but enjoy taking to the members and sharing in the artists’ enthusiasm.