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Artfully Aging is a watercolor art program designed for seniors of all skill and care levels. Our holistic approach makes each art session a meaningful and therapeutic activity. Since 2010 Artfully Aging has been a pioneer in promoting creative aging in the St. Louis senior community. In the face of the recent pandemic and in an effort to continue our mission of serving seniors, Artfully Aging has developed a fully automated online program. This will allow us to serve an ever expanding number of seniors and senior communities.
The goal of Artfully Aging is for each participant to tap into their individual creative nature while experiencing a sense of joy and empowerment through participation. Our training videos are designed to provide activity staff and/or caregiver’s practical watercolor knowledge as well as insightful approaches to working with all levels of senior care. Our mission is to provide quality programming along with practical hands on training to ensure all participants can realize the many possible benefits.
Artfully Aging believes everyone is an artist and that enjoyment and healing can come to all who participate. Studies show that participation in the arts has positive outcomes for seniors. In the “Creativity and Aging” study led by the late gerontologist Dr. Gene Cohen, results found that seniors who engage in professionally led creative arts programs show overall improved emotional and physical health.
Mary Beth Flynn received a degree in Human and Environmental Sciences from the University of Missouri in 1981. For many years, while raising children, she worked as a commercial designer and a professional watercolor house portrait artist.
Artfully Aging was founded in 2009. It was through having an extensive art background, experience working with seniors and a desire to contribute to society that Mary Beth’s vision for Artfully Aging emerged. While serving the St. Louis senior community for over a decade Artfully Aging brought watercolor art programming to over 45 senior living communities. In the face of the 2020 pandemic Artfully Aging discovered that it not only had to pivot but also had to automate in order to continue serving the senior care community. In early 2021 Artfully Aging launched its’ new business model ready to serve seniors everywhere.
Administrative Assistant / Customer Support
Julie has been assisting Artfully Aging since it launched as an internet business in February 2021. She has a degree in Business Administration and has over 30 years of experience in the administrative field. She lives, breaths and loves organization. She feels the better she does her job the easier it is for the team she is helping to deliver to their clients. She has a passion for helping others, supports several non-for-profit organizations and is actively involved in her church community. One of her favorite joys in life is being a mom. She homeschooled both of her boys through high school. She stays involved in their lives and is very proud of them. She enjoys camping with her husband and boys.
Therapeutic Art Specialist
Ann is honored to be a part of the Artfully Aging team where she feels called to enrich lives and bring joy through the philosophy that Everyone is an Artist. She has a Master of Science in Architecture and Urban Studies, specializing in Universal Design. Artfully Aging incorporates universal design theory and addresses common barriers making art accessible and inclusive. She blends her years as an architect and professional artist with her passion for providing seniors a meaningful opportunity to connect with others and express their creativity. Ann loves spending time with her husband and two teenagers and volunteering in her community.
Therapeutic Art Specialist
Through in-person watercolor sessions Alison brings meaningful therapeutic art programming to older adults in a variety of care settings throughout St. Louis. Her goal is to encourage participants to recognize their artistic nature while experiencing the many benefits brought forth through creative engagement. Having a lifelong passion for art, Alison earned a BFA from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in 2000 and has worked in a variety of professional art related roles. She is a dedicated wife and mother of two.
Marketing and Public Relations
Nicole has supported Artfully Aging's marketing efforts in the senior living space since February 2021 when we launched our online platform. An advertising copywriter for 15 years, Nicole now focuses on promoting the good work of nonprofits and small businesses who are bringing positive change to the communities they serve. She has also written on arts, education, and health for various publications over the past two decades. Nicole graduated with her Master’s in Public Policy Administration from the University of Missouri – St. Louis.
Bonnie Walbran is a Psychologist and Health Care Provider licensed in both Missouri and Illinois. She earned a Ph.D. in Physiological Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis Missouri in 1977. For the last 20 years she has been in private practice serving residents in St. Louis area nursing homes. Prior to that, she was a Research Assistant in Epidemiology, Chief Psychologist at St. Louis Developmental Treatment Center, Alton Mental Health Center and Coordinator of Rehabilitation Psychology at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis. Having worked for many years with the senior populations, developmentally delayed individuals and others with serious medical conditions, Bonnie has seen first hand how art activities provide an unparalleled therapeutic outlet for all who engage.