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Arts & Aging

Community sits at the heart of our work. We believe that everyone deserves the benefits of connecting with neighbors and having a supportive community. And in these times of physical isolation, having safe opportunities to connect is more important than ever—especially for older adults. Through our Arts and Aging program, we use the arts as a vehicle for lifelong learning and community building.

Arts and Aging offers participatory, multi-disciplinary sequential arts learning programs taught by professional artists, giving older adults access to high-quality arts and creativity classes and programs at no cost.

Teaching artists work within their own professional expertise to help participating residents build skills, a sense of mastery, and connection with fellow students. This model inspires a sense of purpose and vitality and brings people together. What’s more, research shows that “seniors who engage in participatory arts programs taught by professional artists report improved health, fewer doctor visits, and less medication usage.”

Watercolor Postcards

Left: Betty Bellefueille; Right: Rosemary Bradford

Watercolor Postcards

Left: Ruth Knight; Right: Jean Cieminski

Watercolor Postcards

Left: Judy Hasert; Right: Mary Ann Harrison

Watercolor Postcards

Left: Joy Weigel; Right: Betty Schilling

Watercolor Postcards

Left: Kathie Amacher; Right: Babe Bahr

Watercolor Postcards

Left: Betty Golly; Right: Nancy Eder

Watercolor Postcards

Left: Fay LaVigne; Right: Muffy Donaldson

Watercolor Postcards

Left: Karen Phillips; Right: Rosemary Bradford

Watercolor Postcards

Left: Mary Ann Harrison; Right: Ruth Knight

Watercolor Postcards

Left: Babe Bahr; Right: Judy Hasert

Watercolor Postcards

Left: Kathie Amacher; Right: Rosemary Bradford

Watercolor Postcards

Left: Mary Ann Harrison; Right: Ruth Knight

Watercolor Postcards

Left: Joy Weigel; Right: Betty Schilling

Watercolor Postcards

Left: Kathie Amacher; Right: Jean Cieminski

Watercolor Postcards

Left: Ruth Knight; Right: Muffy Donaldson

Watercolor Postcards

Left: Betty Schilling; Right: Rosemary Bradford

Watercolor Postcards

Left: Babe Bahr; Right: Betty Golly

Watercolor Postcards

Left: Mary Ann Harrison; Right: Joy Weigel

Watercolor Postcards

Nancy Eder

Watercolor Postcards - Winter 2020

From October 19 through December 10, 15 individuals from 3 CommonBond communities participated in a 8-week rotation of painting, writing, mailing, and receiving watercolors postcards made from their fellow students. Pictured above are the fruits of their efforts from the remote class!

“This “scrapbook” of postcard images (so named by Fay LaVigne) is shared with gratitude for the creative spirit and for the opportunity to make connections that are often prevented due to the pandemic. Each of these participants deserves praise and congratulations for their willingness to join this effort and to work independently during these different—and sometimes difficult—times.” – Judy Cline, Teaching Artist

Learn more about the Watercolor Postcards project from the perspective of teaching artist Judy Cline here!

“Before this class many of us did not speak to one another. Though we lived in the same place I felt alone. This class, these people, these teachers have helped to create a community around creating.”
-Arts and Aging Participant, CommonBond resident
“I was new to the community this last session. The class hooked me and helped me belong. I even stepped up and have started a monthly creative friends group so that we can all keep drawing and talking together. I was never been able to do this kind of work before taking this class!”
-Arts and Aging Participant, CommonBond resident
“This class has helped me build my self-confidence and convinced me to try other new adventures.”
-Arts and Aging Participant, CommonBond resident