BROOKLINE, MA— Building genuine connections through art is the theme of a combined exhibition, “Building Community through Art”, showcasing artwork created by older adult residents from Goddard House Assisted Living (Brookline) and Goddard House Community Initiatives (GHCI) program participants from Mount Pleasant Home (Jamaica Plain), Anna Bissonnette House (South End), and Ruggles Assisted Living (Roxbury).
The artwork was created during a series of Opening Minds through Art (OMA) programs offered at each of the older adult communities. A signature program at Goddard House since 2016, OMA is an award-winning, evidence-based, intergenerational, abstract art-making program for older adults and those living with dementia. The goal of OMA is to challenge assumptions and build respect and genuine connections between older adults and volunteers/student interns as they come together through artmaking. Graduate student interns from Lesley University and other area colleges participate in the program both at Goddard House and in the Boston-area GHCI programs.
Goddard House Community Initiatives (GHCI) was launched in 2017 to share Goddard House’s creative energy with Boston-area older adults to encourage individuality, expression, social connection and innovation through participatory programming that includes art, music, dance, and other forms of creative expression.
“The ‘Building Community through Art’ exhibition is a celebration of the amazing creative capacities of older adults,” observed Goddard House President and CEO, Candace Cramer. “This combined event is the first of its kind to collectively demonstrate the creative and community building outcomes of our GHCI programs, like OMA, which grew out of our success with such initiatives at Goddard House.”
Goddard House is hosting two community-building events to honor the artists and their artwork, and provide an opportunity for the OMA artists from the four communities to meet each other and speak about their experiences with the OMA program. “We are always learning different art techniques in the program. I love it and I never want to give it up!” enthused Ruggles Assisted Living resident, Freida.
Shared Bill from Mt. Pleasant Home in Jamaica Plain, “I have met a wonderful group of friends through the program. And I’m catching on with the art.”
The exhibition, featuring more than 40 pieces of OMA artwork in Gallery M at Goddard House, runs until April 24. To find out more about OMA and Goddard House Community Initiatives, visit www.GoddardHouse.org/CommunityInitiatives.
About the Participating Organizations:
Goddard House embraces the aging experience for seniors living in the Boston area by operating a high-quality assisted living community and by creating innovative programs which support our need for purpose, engagement, autonomy and choice as we age. Learn more at www.GoddardHouse.org.
Mount Pleasant Home is an independent, non-profit residential care rest home for seniors sixty-two and older. Mount Pleasant Home supports the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health of women and men. Learn more at www.MountPleasantHome.org.
Anna Bissonnette House and Ruggles Assisted Living are Hearth, Inc. properties. Hearth is a non profit organization with the mission of ending homelessness in the aging population through prevention, placement, and housing programs. Their goal is to place seniors in their own homes, while providing support and community throughout the process. Learn more at Hearth-Home.org.