Opening Minds through Art
If you visit The Christian Village at Mason, you may see high school students working one on one with residents to create stunning pieces of art. Opening Minds through Art (OMA) is a new program through Miami University’s Scripps Gerontology Center that not only creates art but also new intergenerational friendships and connections.
OMA was founded in 2007 by Miami University professor Dr. Elizabeth Lokon. It is a nationally recognized program that provides a creative and social outlet for people who have dementia. The goal of OMA is to foster creative self-expression through social engagement.
Ten William Mason High School National Art Honor Society members have been working one-on-one with Christian Village at Mason residents since February. Residents can use Kool-Aid, glitter, paper towels and other found objects to make unique patterns, according Linda Kurzynski, Director of Community Life Services for the Christian Village at Mason.
“There are no rights or wrongs with their art,” said Kurzynski. “We use a variety of mediums, but it’s mostly watercolor. Families who have seen the artwork are thrilled!”
Dr. Lokon, who named the program after the German and Dutch word for grandma, based the program on her research while doing her master’s thesis on gerontology. She stayed at a long-term nursing facility to observe first-hand what practices might help people with dementia. Dr. Lokon brought art supplies and found that the residents were engaged. From this experience, OMA was born. The Christian Village at Mason joins 40 other long-term care facilities across the U.S. and Canada that have implemented OMA and seen how it builds bridges across age and cognitive barriers through art.
Larry Monroe, CEO of Christian Village Communities, which is the parent company for The Christian Village at Mason, had the following to say about OMA. "OMA has been an exciting program for our residents and their families, primarily because of its life enrichment impact. It's in direct line with our greater organization mission of guiding older adults to joyful and purposeful life experiences in a faith-filled community.”
Please join us for a reception and exhibition hosted by artists from The Christian Village at Mason and William Mason High School students.
OMA Art Show
The Christian Village at Mason
411 Western Row Rd. Mason, OH 45040
Thursday, May 5 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.