Art Therapy and Staying Sharp

Unleash your creativity and keep your mind as fit as a fiddle with art!

Art therapy can do more than dispel boredom when you’re retired. Among seniors, art therapy have been found to improve cognitive skills and stimulate their intellect by challenging the aged to create art and paint outside the lines, so to speak. Art therapy could also improve motor skills because creating art involves many small movements and this helps to alleviate pain by allowing seniors to focus on something other than their chronic aches and pains.

Community acrylic art painting project at City Wellness Pharmacy in March 2019.

Another major benefit of art therapy is the social aspect where it connects people who may feel lonely or isolated, which are common among seniors. Those who aren’t great at communication would find that they may be able to say more through their art! This could lead to alleviation of stress and depression due to not being able to openly express their feelings.

Community Acrylic Art Painting Project in April 2019.

Someone who is very aware of these benefits is Gina Koay, Pharmacist at City Wellness Pharmacy in Penang who organises art sessions for her community. We speak to Gina on why she conducts these sessions and why you should sign yourself up for them!

1Twenty80: What are the benefits of the art workshops that you conduct? 

Gina Koay: The benefits of the Acrylic Art Painting Experiential Learning Workshop include self-discovery, personal fulfilment, empowerment, relaxation, improved overall health which includes physical, emotional, cognitive function interpersonal skills and quality of life!

Taught seniors to draw and paint acrylic art during the Dementia Day organised by JCI United Penang on 5 May 2019.

1Twenty80: Who could benefit from these art sessions and why? 

Gina: We have been serving many senior clients in the community and found that some of them are looking to learn a new skill or pick up a new hobby instead of just watching their favourite TV shows at home. So, we initiated the acrylic art session for the seniors! We were invited to nursing homes to teach them acrylic art too. We found that the seniors could benefit from it by enhancing their motor skills and increase the mobility of their hands and fingers too. By learning a new skill like drawing and painting, this can stimulate brain function and cultivate an optimistic attitude. In addition, it sharpens the mind and boost memory skills.

Quote: By learning a new skill like drawing and painting, this can stimulate brain function and cultivate an optimistic attitude. 

1Twenty80: What happens during the art sessions? 

Gina: The participants will be given a canvas board placed on a table easel, brushes, acrylic paints and other art materials to draw and paint. Normally they will be given a theme or a sample of a completed artwork to draw and paint. The time frame given will be 90 to 120 minutes.

1Twenty80: Are there any surprising benefits to these art sessions? 

Gina: We saw different people expressing themselves in a different way. Some like to draw meticulously; some like to paint out of the box by adding special art features to the painting; some took up to three hours to complete one painting too! It is interesting to see different people with different personalities from the finished painting.

 

1Twenty80: How can art sessions benefit working adults? 

Gina: We have many working adults participating in the acrylic art sessions. We have been to corporate companies to conduct team building activities using the acrylic art painting method. We found that when people create something beautiful through painting, they stimulate the creative mind while relieving mental strain. It helps them find an emotional release through drawing and painting too, so that they let go of all their highly stressed problems. A low stress level leads to a happier, healthier lifestyle and helps to improve overall mental health.

Quote: We found that when people create something beautiful through painting, they stimulate the creative mind while relieving mental strain.

1Twenty80: Who are encouraged to join in your art sessions? 

Gina: We encourage children and adults of different age groups to join our acrylic art painting session. Art has no boundaries. We have been invited to teach special children as well to draw and paint!

1Twenty80: When do you organise these art sessions and where can the public find out more about them?

Gina: We organise monthly acrylic art sessions at City Wellness Pharmacy in Penang, whereby there will be two sessions to choose from, either on a Friday or Saturday. We also conduct team building programs for corporate companies using acrylic art painting. The public can find out more about us through our Facebook page, “Better.Me Wellness Hub”. We are also reachable at 04-6564098 or 014-9087 528 or email us at info@citywellness2u.com.