There are still so many unanswered questions around cognitive impairment. It can be puzzling and mysterious. However, when we produce art together, it lights a spark and some of Baycrest’s clients can recall some unexplainable memory. It is like a flicker of their history and evokes a glimmer of hope.
This sculpture was collaboratively designed and made by clients and staff of the Donald and Elaine Rafelman Creative Arts Studio at Baycrest. Residents with cognitive disorders chose objects, to create the piece that symbolizes their imagination and artistic spirit. They all found immense pleasure and relaxation in the unrestricted use of materials that were placed in jars in front of them and loved the sensations of freedom and purpose to create what they wished.
The Donald and Elaine Rafelman Creative Arts Studio at Baycrest is a bright and cheerful space dedicated to the creation of art. The atmosphere within the Studio is warm and welcoming. Music fills the space, along with the sounds of merriment and content.
The art programs at Baycrest challenge the clients both physically and mentally. Any project can be accommodated to fit the individual clients’ needs and level of ability. Through years of experience, the Creative Arts team has skillfully adapted techniques to suit the population at hand – countering feelings of frustration with feelings of satisfaction and achievement.
The therapeutic value of arts programming is attributed to the holistic and healing power of art. The Creative Arts team works hard to accomplish specific goals including gentle physical therapy, as well as social, creative and mental stimulation. Arts programs foster a sense of purpose and meaning, enabling participants to draw on their creativity and bolster self-esteem. When participants are so engrossed in their work, they often forget their pains and troubles and focus on what they can do. The finished masterpieces look professional and the residents leave feeling proud of their accomplishments.