Working with Clay – A Unique Opportunity at United
“We shape clay into a pot, but it’s the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want.” – Taoist saying
When we talk about art in a United community, it means more than just painting or drawing. United residents also have access to clay classes, complete with a kiln for firing the finished product.
“Clay is a medium that brings a community together,” said Amy Bouchard, creative facilitator. “I don’t tell residents what to create, but rather, I guide them by showing them the methods such as using coils, slabs or the potter’s wheel at United’s Fish Creek community. Ceramics is a unique addition in an older adult community.”
Amy often sees residents working together on projects, and giving each other encouragement. “We all dip into the same bag of clay, we put our work together into the kiln and we admire the finished product together. There is a definite sense of community involved with ceramics. Clay is not only a fun medium to work with, it’s an introduction into the art world as a whole.”
United’s Garrison Green resident Carlo Romano is an example of someone who is new to clay but has since produced hundreds of sculptures of people and animals that represent images from his hometown in Italy. Last year, the art gallery at Fish Creek hosted a solo show of Carlo’s sculptures and paintings.
“It’s wonderful to see a budding artist at a later point of life,” said Amy. “For many, it’s a new way of creating, inspiring the creative spark in the interest of continuing to learn. Recently, I’ve been leaving materials out on the art studio tables when I’m not there. It doesn’t take long for them to start their own projects and work on them independently.”
The art studios are staffed by professional artists – creative facilitators who are there to support and encourage residents. With a wide variety of skill-building workshops, collaborative and conceptual projects, art education sessions and outings to local galleries, the artistic avenues reach far beyond the studio.
Amy holds weekly clay workshops at United’s Fish Creek community.
Do you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community? Send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a tour. We are happy to help!
United is changing the conversation around aging. From our innovative United Minds (memory care) program to professionally staffed art studios and extensive creative programming, our communities offer more than you might expect. If you have questions or topics you would like us to cover in future blogs, let us know.