Art of Aging: Seniors make memories with paint

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A local senior residence is keeping cherished memories alive with paint.

A local senior residence is keeping cherished memories alive with paint.

At Brandywine Senior Living at Haverford Estates, Art therapist Dona Duncan helped residents transform their personal stories into poignant pictures.

"They're really happy, seeing people express joy in seeing their work. And they're increasing their self-esteem," said Duncan.

The 10 week art program was called 'My Life Story.'

Mike Kowbuz is the Director of Continuing education programs, PAFA.

He says, "For an older adult, they have a lot of material to work with."

Brandywine partnered with PAFA, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, to create it.

Maria Nadelstumph is the VP of Organizational Development - Brandywine Senior Living.

She says, "It was about just learning to tell their story through art, and the results were fantastic."

Brandywine organized an exhibition to showcase the works of these late-in-life artists for family and friends.

Ronnie Sokoloff, Resident & Artist says, "(I said) I don't know what to draw and I just went like that, and that's the prettiest, and I was very proud of myself when I blended the petals."

For residents, it was a chance to share their life experiences ....but also relive them.

Another resident and artist, Julius Golden said, "I painted a B-17, which is the plane I flew during the war periodically, and I'd tell people what I did during the war. Painting my airplane was a very tough thing for me to do."

And as they put their stories to paper and canvas, they drew inspiration from their neighbors.

Edward Krause is 99 years old, and a resident and artist.

"I didn't know these people who are next to me all the time had the ability to do these things," said Krause.

They created social connections along the way.

Nadelstumph added, "It's an opportunity just to-just to showcase someone's inner spirit. And have fun, make friends, laugh, and um just fully be connected."

And learned that it's never too late to learn something new.

"I became an artist," said Sokoloff.

For more information on other programs for seniors, visit our Art of Aging section.
Related Topics:
healthart of agingseniorspaintpa. newshealthcheckHaverford Township
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