Empowering Caregivers to Love People in Creative and Transformative ways.
Why: For Love & Art's mission is to remain viable and sustainable in order to bring the Art Experience to those with limited mobility. Our commitment is to alter the way seniors are treated near the end of life, while generating a renaissance in art appreciation. We are making great strides.
How: In partnership with the community outreach programs of nineteen great world-class museums, we bring their collections and share "the Art Experience" with folks who don't get around much anymore. In this engagement, fear, loneliness and boredom transform into beauty, joy and magic of life. It's quite a triumph for the caregiver, whether a hospice volunteer, activity professional, or family member, to love on people using Monet, Cassatt, and Goya and open up conversations that get to the heart of what matters to people most.
What: We are seeking qualified volunteers who would be willing to visit senior facilities and similar venues and help us facilitate this conversation. One doesn't have to know about art so much as to stimulate thinking and encourage people to share their experience - their thoughts, their feelings, their memories. It is in this sharing, after all, that the magic happens. People get to reclaim beauty and youth and celebrate life itself. And the presenters are at least as smitten as the viewers. All souls are enriched.
We frequent a number of Nursing Homes, Senior Centers, and VA Medical Centers in sharing the Art experience.
As frequent visitors know, we enjoy interviewing people with whom we’ve just shared the Art Experience. Imagine my surprise when Patricia said she wished she could record her sentiments, as she was wanting to speak straight from the heart. Luckily, I had my iPhone with me and was able to capture her sentiments about For Love & Art. What follows is her treasured tribute.
“Today is December the 4th, 2014. My name is Patricia, and my husband, Frank, is a resident here at Ashford Hall. He’s been here since July 3rd. And today, I would have already been out here and already left, but because I have just been dealing with so much depression and stress in my life, I got a very late start. Anyway, I got up and got around and got my shower, and came on out to see Daddy, my husband Frank.
Patricia and Frank, young and in love!
As I was coming in, Mr. Mark was leaving the room. He had been in to visit my husband’s roommate, and I conversed with him for a minute. He could see that I was troubled and asked me what was wrong. I told him that I had been so distraught at home, crying, and just really feeling bad. I told him that I didn’t know if I was having a pity party…I just didn’t know.
He said he had just the thing pulled out this wonderful book with museums in it. He said we were going to Mrs. Walton’s museum in Arkansas and in a flash we were there. Such a beautiful museum!
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art,
We spend the next hour looking at sheer beauty. We saw big, black bears and little girls all dolled up and clowns with Japanese lanterns. My favorite one was also my husband’s favorite–he said that he loved the great outdoors and could smell the fresh air just looking at it. We spent quite a while looking at this one….
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As my husband I were looking over the portraits and the paintings, I had the most calming effect come over me – a real soothing effect – and made me feel that I had God right here in this room with me. And I know that today it was meant for me to postpone my coming at a later time so so that I could meet Mark. What he provided was just what I was needing for the day, and he has blessed me and my husband today in a great, great way and I thank you for this opportunity to show my gratitude for what you have done.”
Visionary philosopher, Roger Scruton, posits that “Beauty is the revelation of God in the here and now.” Stories like Patricia’s validate Mr. Scruton’s hypothesis. Indeed, when one courts the Art Experience, one knocks on Heaven’s Door.
We want to take a minute to once again thank our partner museums, our volunteers, our donors, our recipient healthcare facilities, advisors, kindred spirits and well-wishers for their participation in For Love & Art. Without your participation, our project would simply not be possible. Please consider making a contribution to allow our good work to continue into the New Year.