For ten years, I was privileged to facilitate art for older adults in a well-funded government art program for Canadian veterans called Artworks Studio. Encouraged by my mentor Dr Dalia Gottlieb Tanaka, founder of The Society for the Arts in Dementia Care, I wrote an e-guide about my experiences working in Artworks Studio in 2010.
I recently updated my book "How to Facilitate Art for Older Adults" and I was flooded with such a rich sense of appreciation for the rare opportunity I had to witness older artists discovering their creative power - often for the first time in their lives.
Over the years, I met so many wonderful elder artists, and I learned so many different ways to facilitate art for people with dementia. And the best part is: all of the 75+ images of art in the book are created by artists aged 80 to 100+!
An Artist with Dementia
"An angry and troubled man, he would often switch gears from anger to inspiration and say the most profoundly poetic things when he painted. On one day he would be grouchy, and on another day he became enchanted with the visual world. Often, a look of pure inspiration would appear in his eyes. As he painted, he would gaze out the window and exclaim at the colour of the sky, the turn of a tree branch or the shape of a cloud. He would then say, “The sky is off-blue with a whiff of snow.”
(Quote from the book "How to Facilitate Art for Older Adults")
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