This summer I had the chance to wheel a lovely senior lady around an assisted living center where every hall featured a breathtaking variety of artwork. It was a big place, so we toured hallway after hallway filled with art. Gigantic vibrant canvases splashed with paint, beautifully applied by someone who really knows color. The subjects and styles of the artwork were all different. Some realistic, others abstract. A few that were non-representational.
Touring an art gallery with a senior citizen turned out to be one of my best art experiences. I’ve always enjoyed working with senior citizens. My first real job was nurses’ aide in high school at a nursing home. I’ve done lots of other types of work since then, but I keep coming back to seniors. I love their wisdom.
During my tour of the art gallery (hall art) at the assisted living center this summer I’d wheel this lovely senior up to each painting and we’d talk about it. About the emotion, the mood, about what memories it stirred for each of us. I’ve never enjoyed art more than in that experience. The reality of escorting a precious senior lady in a wheelchair down the halls, absorbing the artwork in full living color,was so much BIGGER and more meaningful than experiencing the paintings alone.
Experiencing art face-to-face with real people inspires the heart.