Art and Wellness: Creative Aging

This video features the ongoing collaboration between The Phillips Collection and Iona Senior Services. The program encourages older adults (many of whom suffer from Alzheimer’s or related dementia), along with their families and caregivers, to make connections and access personal experiences and long-term memories through gallery conversations and hands-on art therapy.

In November, the Phillips opened  Art and Wellness: Creative Aging for Arts & Health Month and National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. The exhibition features over 80 artworks created as a part of the program.

Our colleagues at Iona created this video to celebrate the opening reception for the exhibition, which brought over 100 participants to the museum, including many artists and their families. One family expressed, “Thank you for an amazing exhibit. We appreciate your grace and kindness. You inspire us.” Another attendee said, “Great show! Looks like the Iona participants were having fun, as well as having memories and thinking about elements of some works of art.”

If you’re interested in more information about the artworks in the video or the Art and Wellness program, please contact education@phillipscollection.org.

Capturing a Moment

Two visitors sharing a moment at the Phillips during our Creative Aging program. Photo: James Brantley

Two visitors sharing a moment at the Phillips during our Creative Aging program. Photo: James R. Brantley

Everyone once in a while I see a photograph from one of our programs that stops me in my tracks. James R. Brantley recently took the image above during one of our Creative Aging programs with Iona. This program offers older adults (many of whom suffer from Alzheimer’s or related dementia), along with their families and caregivers, the opportunity to connect with each other through guided conversations about art at the Phillips. These individuals then continue processing their responses in the art therapy studio at Iona.

This photograph is a powerful reminder to me. It serves as a testament of how powerful art can be in creating shared and loving experiences.

 

Imagination Lives at All Ages

Family members celebrating the work of an Iona artist. Photo: James R. Brantley

Family members celebrating the work of an Iona artist. Photo: James R. Brantley

I’ve been working on the museum’s Creative Aging program for over a year now, and to celebrate the current exhibition, the Phillips hosted a reception this past weekend for friends, families, and artists whose work is on view.

Over 100 visitors attended the reception, and what resonated most for me was the sense of pride many of the artists and families felt about seeing the artworks on view. One artist stated, “Thank you everyone for celebrating with us our artwork. It gives encouragement to make other works of art.” Another family member said, “We are so moved by this beautiful exhibit and the wonderful work. Thank you!”

But, I think one my favorite remarks written in the comment book said, “In line color and spirit—imagination lives at all ages.” My colleague at Iona, art therapist Jackie McGeehan, made this video to encapsulate the energy, ideas, and process behind the display. Have a look, and let us know what you think!