The Arts are Alive at the Witherell!

From landscape and pottery painting to photo exhibits and artist lectures—the arts are an important part of life at the Nathaniel Witherell. Our community is home to several former artists, and we’re a place where budding creative talent is nurtured.

Our therapeutic arts program is robust. Residents can participate in hands-on arts projects, or can indulge in other forms of artistic appreciation. Either way, all reap the physical, social, and emotional benefits of engaging in arts programs.

“The programs we offer are very popular and accessible to everyone—whether they have an art background or have never dabbled in creative projects before,” notes Carissa Ronish, the Witherell’s Therapeutic Program Administrator. “We also offer art appreciation opportunities—like photo exhibits and lectures—so there’s something creative, exciting, and beautiful for all to enjoy,” she says.

It’s long been believed that the arts enhance well-being, and new research substantiates that claim. According to a study published on NextAvenue, “There is substantial causal evidence that participatory arts activities help maintain the health and quality of life of older adults.” Art encourages self-expression, boosts mood, stimulates cognitive abilities, and promotes feelings of self-esteem.

At our weekly art classes, residents learn to create watercolor paintings over a 4-5 week period. Each project includes step-by-step instruction until a final work is produced. The Witherell also offers monthly pottery painting classes.

This month, the Stamford Photography Club is running a Cuba photo exhibit in our Atrium gallery.  Photos from six local Connecticut photographers show the natural beauty of the Cuban people in a country frozen in time. We’ll also host a lecture and reception with the photographers on Wednesday, August 15 from 6:00-8:00 pm in the Auditorium.

In the fall, the Witherell plans to launch a new therapeutic arts program for residents in our Memory Care Unit featuring our “person-centered care” approach. Residents with Alzheimer’s and dementia related illnesses often find group classes overwhelming, so individualized support will help these residents reap the same physical and emotional benefits that come from involvement in the arts.

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