Art extends life, adds to adventure of tomorrow’s challenges


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Why create art? What is the purpose of art? We were designed to create and decorate. From an early age, we colored with crayons, finger painted, molded with clay and played creatively.

 Our mothers taped our elementary school artwork on the icebox. We were praised for our artworks. 

As we moved through the grades, we decorated our rooms, hung posters, produced signs and exhibited memories from our young lives. Thousands of years ago, cave dwellers captured their hunts and life with charcoal drawings on cave walls. Stories of life were told in sketches and paintings through the years by our ancestors.

As a college business student, I took art classes as my dessert. After dealing with endless paper bookkeeping journals and ledgers, the joy of drawing, painting and performing offered relief from boredom and academic fatigue.

When we moved into our own house after marriage, we decorated, designed the spaces, colorized and assembled. We became interior decorators. Our place was our artform. We enjoyed hobbies of sketching, painting and sculpting. 

In retirement, we looked for new things to do. We checked our bucket list. 

I remember John VanDyck, at 80 years old,  joined the Strawbridge Art League to take art lessons. His inner creativity blossomed. He entered juried shows and received commissions. He died a few weeks before his 100th birthday. 

Currently, local seniors have the luxury of taking art classes at the Art Gallery of Viera and locations in the Eau Gallie Arts District. Check the 2020 Boomer Guide for art groups near you. 

Recently, I facilitated art activities at area memory care centers. In a secured room, I provided a brief lesson, supplied the materials and watched magic happen.

 With a little coaching, the residents produced incredible artworks. Each was different and unique.

Art therapy is used in hospitals and rehabilitation centers. At-home patients also can enjoy art activities. Once creating art, thoughts shift to manipulating colors and shapes. Pain seems to take leave of a weary body. Energy is restored; boredom vanishes.

Art is the challenge of a new adventure. We all have the capacity and desire to create. With or without lessons, we can accomplish our own special results. Art heals, helps us flourish and makes us look ahead to tomorrow. Art stimulates, energizes and extends life.