When the coronavirus hit in early March, the Leighton Art Centre ran with an idea to use art to bring a little joy to older adults in isolation. They asked their 300-plus artist members to create handmade greeting cards with personal messages of support from each of the artists. The Leighton Centre chose to distribute the cards to the residents of long-time supporters United Active Living.
“We looked at what we could do to provide some support and encouragement during this difficult time, and decided to connect our artists with the residents,” said Alison Marshall, the Leighton Centre’s gallery manager and workshop coordinator. “We did a call out to our artists, and expanded it to include families and children. Over the last two months, some 600 cards – all individually made – were created. We dropped them off to United last week, with any extras going to the Bethany Care Centre.”
“We have had a great relationship with the Leighton Art Centre for many years, so when they called us with the idea, we were thrilled and knew this would be a hit with residents,” said United creative facilitator Maddison Klein. “We went door to door, giving a card to each resident. They were particularly struck by the fact that each card was an original piece of art with a separate message from the artist. I think these are going to be collector’s items they will treasure for a long time.”
Garrison Green resident Jane Kelly was one who received a card from a 10-year-old. “I really appreciated it. It was really terrific! It shows a popsicle with sunglasses, and the message was ‘to a cool customer’. It was a lovely thing to do. It really lifted my spirts and made my day. I laugh every time I see it.”
Watch the delightful response from Garrison Green resident Allan Holbrook.
“This project has been absolutely delightful,” said Alison. “It really warmed our hearts. When we received the cards from the artists, we went through them and sorted them. The artwork and the messages brought tears to our eyes. The messages of encouragement and support are so beautiful, we were thrilled to pass them along to the residents.”
Photos by United Active Living
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