Thursday, June 25, 2009

Seniors in the Visual Arts

(June 25, 2009)
The Somerset Art Association in Bedminster has received a grant from the Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission to engage seniors who are in the early and middle stages of Alzheimer’s Disease, in the visual arts

For the project, SAA partnered with the Adult Day Center of the Visiting Nurse Association of Somerset Hills, a non-profit organization developed to meet the increasing needs of the growing elderly population in our community. The Center provides a place during the day where older adults needing supervision and socialization can find an experienced, warm and caring staff to tend to their needs while enjoying a day filled with life-enriching experience.

Held on three separate days in the spring, each session was led by an SAA instructor. Anne Kullaf gave an artist demonstration and generously donated afterwards her finished painting to the Adult Day Center; Nancy Ori spoke about photography and showed slides of her work; and Billie Marie Aber supervised the creation of a hands-on art project.

“We are so grateful to the Somerset Art Association for their partnership with our Adult Day Center. When seniors lose certain skills, art and creativity can dramatically improve their quality of life and health,” says Claire O’Brien, Director, Adult Day Center of the Visiting Nurse Association of Somerset Hills

The program was designed to stimulate and expand the seniors interest in the arts, create opportunities for socialization and community building, encourage the participation in the creation of art by emphasizing hands-on learning and the nurturing of skills based on individual learning styles and abilities.

“We believe it is important to raise awareness of and advocate for the benefits of making the arts accessible to individuals with disabilities,” says Robyn Tromeur, Executive Director, Somerset Art Association. “The partnership with the Adult Day Center was a wonderful experience for both our instructors and the participants.”

Annually, over 3,000 individuals and families visit the Somerset Art Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering the awareness and understanding of and participation in the visual arts through year-round educational studio classes and workshops for children, teens and adults, gallery exhibits, bus tours to tri-state area museums, lectures, artist’s demonstrations, children’s birthday parties, summer art camps and community outreach partnership projects. For additional information, visit or call the SAA office at 908-234-2345.

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