The Home's Resident Art Program was established in 2007 by a former employee of the Home, Bonnie Grover, who is recognized as its founder. Bonnie created a mission statement for the program to serve as the guiding point for all of the residents' creative endeavors. In this statement, Bonnie noted that the Resident Art Program is dedicated to enhancing the lives of resident seniors through a rich and varied curriculum in the visual arts. The primary focus of the art program is to promote creative engagement in later life by offering a full range of stimulating art activities to residents of the Home. The program encourages even non-artists to participate, allowing each to enjoy the positive effects of creativity on aging.
Another individual also played a remarkable role in the Resident Art Program. Polly King Evans, who herself was a very talented artist, guided the residents in creating more contemporary, expressive pieces using a variety of different artistic mediums. Large canvases became a focal point of her efforts and she encouraged the residents and support staff who assisted in the program to dispell the thought that they lacked creativity. Using a myriad of colors and techniques, Polly encouraged bold expression and dynamic statements. Polly's untimely death in late 2010 served to inspire the residents and staff to continue to actualize her vision. Currently, Chris Alvear oversees the program as Director. He brings new creativity to the program by working one on one with the residents to gain and refine artistic techniques.
The background painting on the Donor Wall that is mounted in the main hallway of the Home is the largest and most visible example of the residents' talents. Attention to the Resident Art Program continues to expand in and around the DC area. Resident artwork has been on display in private homes, several restaurants and offices including, Sushiko, Peacoke Cafe, Sonoma Restauarant and Wine Bar, Long and Foster Realtors, the State Farm Insurance Office of Jon Laskin in Chevy Chase, and the Friendship Heights Village Community Center. In the fall of 2015, the Resident Art Program donated a painting of Chuck Brow, godfather of "go-go" mask, to the DC Community Archives.
The work of these remarkable artists has also drawn the attention of a number of local individuals. F. Soone Roberts, an award winning documentarian, was intrigued by the pieces on display at Sushiko and has since made a video, called Praise about the program at the Home. Equally moved by the creativity of the Home's resident artists was Walter Grio, founder of "Shoot for Change", a phillanthropic photographic undertaking based in Washington, DC and Editor-in-Chief of Fashiontographer.com
For more information about the Program or to arrange a gallery tour, please contact Debbie Lyle at 202-966-6667 extension 3373 or firstname.lastname@example.org