On a monthly basis, we have Art Appreciation.
We are privileged to be near the Midland Center for the Arts, which has an active “Picture Parent” program. This is where the local schools, homeschoolers, and even Activities Directors in care settings can rent a set of art work for a year! These are large replications of various art work. When we are through with one set, we move right on to the next.
Typically our small group activities tend to run 7-9 residents. This is about lovely for activities like this as it allows for a bit more freedom in conversation and so forth. We can gather closer, and we can hear better!
We’ve found that a 30 minute presentation is about perfect for something educational like Art Appreciation. We share the large picture with the residents, discuss it and then provide each resident with a page that contains the focus picture, the artist’s picture, and a bit of information so that they have something to take and put into their Art Appreciation binder. We meet in our community/dining area around the large TV; this allows us to use http://www.prezi.com to facilitate the presentations. Often we end up viewing other pieces of art from the same artist. Each piece of artwork is displayed on an easel in our community area until the next Art Appreciation afternoon.
The presentation includes
- basic information about the artist and his life.
- basic information about the artwork and the fact that there are several very similar pieces of artwork, such as Pilgramage To Cythera and Voyage To Cythera.
- Greek and Roman Gods (Venus, the goddess of love, is the sculpture painted on the far right and we see her son Cupid, well many of them! Also, the residents found interesting that this island of Cythra is a mythical island that was claimed to be the birthplace of Venus.)
- a discussion regarding this painting’s details and what art historians have gleaned about this particular painting, which is presently found at the Louvre in Paris.
- a clip that showed many of Watteau’s other works.
It’s often a challenge to find activities that fit the various needs and desires of our residents. When we find one, we like to keep it going! We started Art Appreciation in September of 2016 and plan to continue it for the indefinite future. The ones that always attend state that they like learning new things, it’s great mental stimulation, and they appreciate seeing art they have never seen before.