When the sun goes down, the paint comes out. Brilliantly bright or dark and mysterious, the colours swirl across the white canvas in a variety of lines and patterns, bound to reason only by the limits of the creator’s imagination.
“When they paint, they don’t keep track of time. I just want them to get lost and to complete a project that they can feel proud of, and at the end they can just look at it and say, ‘oh, I did that,’ like they didn’t realize,” said Josephine Lopez, activation aid at Fountain View Care Community and the artist behind Art Escape.
Art Escape started at Fountain View about a year ago. Unlike other arts and crafts programing, it focuses on painting. Taking place in the evening, it has a steady following of residents and has branched off to include family and resident painting sessions. Josephine says she calls families to schedule these sessions about once a month, and that it has been a huge success.
“Family members always ask me when the next one is, and there’s one family where the four siblings all take turns to do painting with their mom and me,” she said. “One family sent an email to the executive director of Fountain View about the family art project, saying that it was wonderful and that I put them at ease while they were making their masterpieces.”
Josephine is a mainly self-taught artist who has been featured in art shows, and now so have her students in Art Escape. Recently Fountain View put on an art exhibit to showcase the work done by residents in the program, and their work is also featured in the care community’s multi-purpose room, so that it can be enjoyed by everyone.
“They were so proud and they took pictures with their painting,” Josephine said of her Fountain View students who were featured in the art show. “I love [doing Art Escape]! I always take pictures of their work and send it to their family members.”
Tina Hercules, director of resident programs at Fountain View, said that some of the upcoming projects in the program will include working on a gallery wall leading to the auditorium and chapel area with a second art show upon its completion.
“Painting, in itself, is really therapeutic. It’s the act of creating something, and art is a form of self-expression, so all around it’s just a fantastic program,” Tina said.
Residents attending the program are regulars, and rarely miss a session. Palmina Vatale, a resident at Fountain View, had art in the art show. Palmina has never done art before, and she doesn’t believe she is the best painter; however, she says Art Escape is one of her favourite programs.
“I enjoy it very much,” she said. “I want to learn new things, and I find I learn doing this.”