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Ormond Beach Observer Wednesday, Jul. 24, 2013 6 years ago

Senior residents spotlit at health clinic's first art showcase

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"Our residents now have a whole new way of expressing themselves," said Louise Pickett, quality of life director at Signature Healthcare of Ormond, of her facility's new art showcase.

BY PAULA BUCK | CONTRIBUTING WRITER

As a new way of connecting with the community, Signature Healthcare of Ormond, located at 103 Clyde Morris Blvd., will open its very first art show, “Reflections,” Thursday, July 25, from 4-5:30 p.m.

The show will feature a collection of works created by Signature Healthcare residents, who couldn’t be more enthusiastic about showing it off.

Artist Rosemarie Cannon, holding her button collage, “Polka Dot Circles,” exclaimed, “I love this! I didn’t think I would.”

When Louise Pickett, quality of life director at the facility, was first posed with the possibility of an art show, after a brainstorming session with other staffers, she says she wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

“(We) really did not know what in the world we were doing,” she said. “I just started splashing paint on the canvas, and then the fun began. ... The company could see the value of doing art and provided materials.”

But it’s the “brightness, warmth, and joy” of the paintings, ceramics, and crafts that really hit her, she added.

“Our residents now have a whole new way of expressing themselves,” Pickett said. “Their eyes glitter when they realize their own creativity.”

Carolyn Merritt proudly displayed her work, “Button Tree.”

“I used to like to sew,” she beamed.

Ginnie Rizzo grinned as she held up her hand-painted cup-and-saucer planter.

“I love plants,” she said. “I hope I win the show!”

Pickett noted that each artist will have one of the planters in her own room.

Justine Bailey, business development director at Signature Healthcare, says she’s serious about keeping vitality at the forefront of her efforts.

“Sometimes we forget that people of all ages deserve the chance to express themselves,” she said. “When they make that effort, we need to pay more attention.”

“(Althought) we all plan birthdays and graduations, we seem to shy away from planning late-in-life activity,” she added. “That’s why we have instituted this art show. Come in, see what our residents can do, and just know who we are. We are here to help.”

Pickett notes that a 13-year-old volunteer helped get the artists motivated.

Painting trees, the teenager gave residents “a starting point.” Resident Martha Smith, for example, turned a bare-bones black silhouette into a tree of sparkles, but she’s not the only one.

Sparkles and spirit characterize “Reflections,” which will be the starting point for a permanent gallery at Signature Healthcare.

“We’ll keep this going,” Pickett said. “This project is awesome, and we encourage others working in elder care to get excited about art therapy.”

Volunteers are welcome. Call 673-0450.

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