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Didsbury art program benefits seniors, students

Opening Minds through Art program successful
art project
Frank Hoffart, program participant, and Connor Harper, Didsbury High School student and participant, show off art made by Hoffart at the recent Opening Minds with Art (OMA) Show 'n Sale at Bethany Didsbury. Craig Lindsay/MVP Staff

DIDSBURY – It was a big turnout for Didsbury Integrated Home Care’s 5th annual Opening Minds through Art Show 'n Sale on Nov. 28 at Bethany Care in Didsbury.

The Opening Minds through Art (OMA) program is an intergenerational art program that brings together the artists, who are all clients of Didsbury Integrated Home Care, and the volunteers, who are Didsbury High School leadership students.

Brandi Elliott, recreation therapist and art facilitator for Didsbury Integrated Home Care, said the program is really beneficial to both parties.

“OMA is aimed at promoting social engagement, autonomy, and dignity through the experience of creative self-expression,” said Elliott. “The partnership between Didsbury High School and the OMA program began in 2017 and has been an amazing community partnership.”

The latest art making session began on Oct. 3 and continued until Nov. 21.

“The artists and students met weekly on Thursdays to engage in social interaction through the art making process,” she said. “The artists created the art with the support and guidance of the students.”

Elliott said the one-hour art making sessions were impactful to all who participated.

“Not only was beautiful abstract art created, but meaningful relationships were formed throughout the process,” she said. “The artists and volunteers have both shared that they looked forward to these interactions.”

This session has seen the largest number of participants with 22, said Elliott.

“We also had a record number of students enrol this session with 11 total and were able to match the demand with eager artists,” she said. “It’s encouraging to see the program flourishing and expanding.”

In total, 22 pieces of art were sold at the show 'n sale and $920 was brought in.

The money will go towards supplies for the next program session to keep OMA self-sustaining, she said.




Craig Lindsay

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