Workshop with ArtsFusion

This Thursday, Innisfree hosted a workshop with Arts Fusion, an art program through the Alzheimer’s association. Participants of Arts Fusion visit art galleries, make art together, and interact with their caregivers in creative ways to bring about communication. We were delighted to have them visit Innisfree, and it was a good opportunity for us to interact with other creative members of the community. Arts Fusion even has an art show going on at the moment called “The Power of Creativity in Dementia Care: an exhibit of art and stories by participants in the Alzheimer’s Association Central and Western Virginia Arts Fusion Program”

Here’s an explanation of the benefits of the Arts Fusion program on the Alzheimer’s Association website

“Creative arts programs like Arts Fusion benefit persons with dementia and their caregivers in a number of important ways. Even when disease closes off usual pathways of communication, creativity through non-verbal means remains a valuable mode of expression. This is where the arts come in. They promote dialogue, focus attention, inspire creative interpretations, trigger long-term memories, provide a safe environment for expression, and give participants a voice among their peers and the community. Positive emotions that emerge while creating art, listening to music, or dancing linger beyond the time of the activity, even when participants may not recall the activity itself. Creative activities instill a sense of purpose and accomplishment, acknowledging physical and cognitive limitations while highlighting remaining abilities and strengths. They can be a powerful way for caregivers and their loved ones to connect with one another, share positive experiences, and find support in their communities.”

As a way to demonstrate the fusing of artistic abilities from our community and their community alike, we made a joint mandala in a similar technique to the community gathering last week. Fabric paint, “texture-makers”, brushes, and stamp pads were set up to apply to 8″ by 8″ blocks of fabric with a section of the mandala already drawn on. It was a sort of “paint by numbers” but to create a joint piece and to enjoy the possibilities of different textures applied to fabric.  We also had white papers set up for the option of creating a truly unique piece using the stamping materials.

It was so much fun! We even had time to visit the newly born lambs. I’ll post pictures of the mandala once it’s been stitched together. Thanks for reading!

EDIT: Sharon Celsor-Hughes is the Creative Arts Director of the Alzheimer’s association and took some great pictures during the workshop….here is her gallery!

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