St. Paul’s Senior Homes & Services – A “new stART” at St. Paul’s PACE
Have you ever attempted to paint on canvas, and didn’t know where to begin?
PACE participants have had a completely different experience with canvas. For the past 6 weeks, they have become artists with the instruction and guidance of Linda Bounds. Her art program, called “new stARTs” uses a multi-sensory art approach that reaches out to individuals facing the challenges of elderly life, such as Alzheimer’s, stroke, isolation, depression, and other disabilities.
Each week, Linda works with 2 groups at PACE. She brings her easel, paint brushes and palette, along with a bright energy that is exciting and contagious. She also brings the same canvas that they have been working on since the beginning. Each week, the class learns new tips and tricks in painting, and completes a little more of their soon-to-be masterpiece.
Linda greets each participant by name. “I make it a point to learn everyone’s name early on,” says Linda. “In healthcare, that is sometimes lost.” She knows how they like to partake in the class, and engages each person differently in her customized lesson.
Mary, a PACE participant, likes the class because, “Linda brings you into the art and it comes alive. It’s like magic! I really look forward to Mondays. I like how Linda includes everyone.”
Linda has also seen improvement in the participants. She says, ” I have noticed there is one participant that stands out. In the beginning there was a woman who sat in the middle of class, always smiling, but only wanting to watch. She has been in every class but as the weeks have gone on she has moved to the front of the class, is painting, and able to answer all of my questions to the class about techniques I have taught them. I give this a big WOW!”
Is there a place for people who don’t want to paint in this art class? Absolutely! Michael, who doesn’t care to actually do the painting, loves to watch her peers and take part in the class. “It’s fun to see the progress from week to week.”
And the artists are engaged with each other as well. It is common to hear laughter and encouragement amongst the audience as each completes their contribution to the painting. Karina, Activities Coordinator at PACE, says “It’s great to witness the camaraderie and community that has quickly developed in this painting class.”
Linda is a ray of light at PACE. Through the generous support from our Holiday Appeal last year, this program was made it possible for PACE. It is really making a difference in the lives of seniors who are deserving of the joy of learning and being creative, and the feeling of satisfaction from accomplishment. PACE participant Bernabe says, “I’ve enjoyed art since I was young. I always wanted to paint, and now my dream has come true.”
The importance of art is obvious at PACE, and within the next few weeks, their piece of art will be complete. Stay tuned for the big reveal…