When Our Lady of Life Apartments began offering its residents Artfully Aging watercolor classes in 2010 exactly how the entire community could benefit was yet to be revealed. Our Lady of Life Apartments is a Cardinal Ritter Senior Services community located in St. Louis MO.
The classes met twice a month for several years with a core group of residents (mostly women) who were interested in learning and enjoying watercolor. The ladies worked hard at honing their skills and were open to trying a variety of techniques and subjects. As the sessions continued it became evident to all that they were not only realizing a sense of pride but also true sense of joy in their work! Many had never really participated in the arts so were not aware of the creativity which existed inside of them. For them this was a new life giving experience.
In time the watercolor group began to accumulate a collection of finished projects which they were very proud of! The idea of a community art show came up, took hold and soon it was on the Our Lady of Life activity calendar. It was advertised as a Resident Art Show with a Wine and Cheese reception. All residents and family members were invited. With the direction of Artfully Aging the group planned which pieces they would show and how they would present them. It was a very exhilarating experience for the artists.
The community art show was beneficial not just for the artists but for the entire senior community! Fellow residents enjoyed attending, viewing and congratulating the artists on their artwork. Staff participated by helping with the event and also viewing and congratulating the residents on their work. Family attendance was encouraged so they too could enjoy the community event. In addition, resident art shows and displays are an added amenity to any senior community and are attractive to potential residents and their families. What started out as a watercolor class for a core group turned into a cultural event for the entire community where all could enjoy an afternoon of socializing with a Wine and Cheese reception!