iPads for Art Activity

A few years back a member of our team was with a group of university students on a trip to London. One of the people on the trip was the 2013 Volunteer of the Year by the Texas and New Mexico Hospice Association, Mark Lombard. Mark knows art and was such a joy to go to museums with. He has expanded that passion of art history as a part of his volunteer service by starting the non-profit For Love and Art to bring the beauty of art to seniors and those in hospice. This activity has proven to have depth and power for opening up seniors in assisted living to sharing about their lives and experiences.

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FOR LOVE AND ART partnered with museums and artists to create an interactive activity on large iPads and large screen televisions. They bring the art experience directly to seniors or others with limited mobility so they can enjoy art up close and personal. Volunteers are trained in the background and history of the art and then made available to homes and facilities upon request.

Interestingly, FOR LOVE AND ART offers two activity programs for seniors. One is called, “Celebrating the Art Experience” in which the specially trained FOR LOVE AND ART volunteers showcase a particular collection on a big-screen tv while actively engaging the seniors to share their thoughts and feelings while viewing.

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What FOR LOVE AND ART has found is that the process is therapeutic for the seniors transforming fear, loneliness and boredom into feeling validated and appreciated raising the interaction and connection between residents. FOR LOVE AND ART is clear that the purpose is not necessarily to educate but to “uplift the quality of life psychosocially, cognitively, spiritually, and physically.”

The other way is through individual use of iPads, in what FOR LOVE AND ART calls “Virtual Museum ArtBooks” with approximately 2,000 digitized artworks chaptered by participating museums. The Virtual Museum ArtBooks are donated and used by volunteers usually in hospice settings. It is extremely helpful as a tool to open up meaningful end of life conversations.

Some of the world-renowned Museums that participate in this great activity for your Residential Care Home are: National Gallery of Art Washington D.C., J. Paul Getty Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art NYC, The Gilcrease Museum, The Dallas Museum of Art, The Phillips Collection, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Israel Museum, The Scottish National Gallery, the State Hermitage Museum St Petersburg Russia, Rijksmusesum Amsterdam Netherlands and more. Each museum shares their collection with FOR LOVE AND ART to help extend art as senior therapy activity.

FOR LOVE AND ART is based in Dallas, Texas with volunteers needed in every state. Check out www.forloveandart.org and contact them for your own art presentation activity or create your own with a local museum. Enjoy!

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