Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Art as Therapy and Expression for All Ages

It may surprise you to learn that art can be both healing and life-enhancing. The creativity that art making evokes is an opportunity to express oneself imaginatively, authentically, and spontaneously; an experience that, over time, can lead to personal fulfillment, emotional reparation, and transformation. This view also holds that the creative process, in and of itself, can be a health-enhancing and growth-producing experience. The Dale Association’s PROS Center for Wellness and Senior Centre welcome 2013 Niagara Art Trail visitors to 33 Ontario Street, Lockport on Friday, November 22nd from 4:00 – 6:30pm. Art will be on display and hand-crafted, affordable gifts will be on sale. And, perhaps the most unique feature along the art trail - “Recovery Suite” will be debuting at The Dale Association during Friday nights’ open house. “Recovery Suite” is a work in process for guitar and percussion and will include a mix of original tunes by Jim Caughill. Light refreshments will be served Clients of The Dale’s PROS Center for Wellness explore their life journey through art with wellness counselor Kristin Penny-Dunlap. “This special collection of recovery based art represents our clients’ individual goals and challenges. Our collaborative peer project demonstrates the power of group support through this multi media piece. We invite the public to experience a visual representation of the process of mental wellness and recovery,” says Penny-Dunlap. Art therapy is a form of expressive therapy that uses art materials, such as paints, chalk, markers, and clay. The purpose of art therapy is much the same as in any other psychotherapeutic approach - to improve or maintain mental health and emotional well-being. “Self Expression Through Art” group is creating a piece on values and core beliefs. The “Mood Management” group is using the inspiration of looking at life in a positive way, turning negative thoughts into positive actions. “Telling Your Story Through Art” group is creating symbols that tell their stories. Colorful chalk art, created by participants of The Dale’s Memory Minders Program (social day program for adults with memory loss) will also be on display. Dementia robs many of the precious faculties from a person; however, artistic ability does not appear to be one of them, according to a recent study. This study shows promising results for dementia patients whose artistic ability has allowed them to continue to communicate with loved ones, because it enables them to bypass the language problems and have them express themselves in a different way. We see this at The Dale Association, as well. Quilts, created by The Dale’s quilters will be on loan for the art show, as well. Quilt group leader, Marilyn Harris, is happy that the public will see the unique and beautiful quilts. Artist and Dale painting teacher Toni Bullock will display her work and offer guests a sneak peak at the upcoming landscape painting class (no experience needed – so this is the opportunity for “budding artists” to finally take the painting class they’ve always wanted to take). Handmade items, perfect for the upcoming holidays will also be on sale during the art trail. The Dale Association has long supportive creative arts as a way of achieving positive health and invites the public to stop by during the Niagara Art Trail. Free admission and all are welcome! For more information, please call 433-1886.

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