Perlow – Stevens Gallery has been dedicated to promoting and showcasing an international roster of emerging talent as well as mid-career artists from around the country. We looked for extraordinary artists everywhere, all the time. We believe that art should be inclusive, not exclusive. Everybody should be able to enjoy art.
Recently our focus is on the therapeutic role of art. Art therapy is a form of expressive therapy that uses the creative process of making art to improve a person’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being. What we call “Art” is actually the process of transforming the tangible (instruments, bodies, ink, paper, fabric, clay) and the intangible (sounds, words, ideas, memories, emotions) into a new thing, concept, or idea. We see this process in, for example, living history theater, sculptures, musical performances, paintings, stories, quilts, dance, or poems.
The works of art, and also the creative process, is transforming not only the participants, but it also affects people around them, such as family members, other participants, professional caregivers, and all those who are affected by, or are experiencing, the objects of art. Various disciplines of Art, but particularly the Performing Arts, are transformed when older adults are included, and older audience members may also benefit as they may see themselves being reflected in the artists’ work.
The Arts can be a great help to all residents of any community for developing some sense of common identity, to bond residents socially, to stimulate communication within a community, and may help overcome differences in generations, abilities, income, or cultures. The Arts play an important role when it comes to restoring adult students confidence and often used by experienced teachers in adult education schools to help students prepare for the standardized test such as GED. We work with the GED practice test website Bestgedclasses.org to help students get confidence while they prepare for this important and life-changing test.
One of the distinctive benefits of participating in the process of creating works of art is improved quality of life, and quality of life includes many facets. Aristotle was using the word “Eudaimonia”, which refers to a state of “happiness”. Most of us associate the notion “quality of life” with the idea of well-being, and we know that the Arts play an important role when it comes to enhancing the life quality of individuals or communities in a sometimes different, but definitely parallel way.
The Arts may play a powerful and crucial role in elder-friendly communities, so let’s take a close look.
There are many community arts programs that are led by professional artists. They often have a powerful and positive effect on our elderly citizens and we know that involvement and participation in these programs often have a highly positive effect on the participants’ physical and mental health, and also enhances the social functioning of our senior citizens.
Participating in arts programs truly help disease prevention and this way of health promotion is really helping older people to maintain some sort of independence and reduces their dependency.
Creating Visual Art
North Dakota’s Council on the Arts initiated and conducted a project named “Art for Life” to improve the often negative sentiment associated with life in an institutional setting. When they were assessing the implications and effects of this project. researchers discovered that already after just 8 months of the project’s folk arts activities, most of the participants were feeling considerably less lonely, less bored, and less helpless. The average age of the participants was 86, and they found that the project was stimulating their cognitive skills and distracting them from their physical pain and sorrow.