Several participants of Easterseals Adult Day Services were recently recognized for their artistic talents at the annual Special Olympics Hamilton County Art Show. Their creative works were displayed at the Cincinnati Art Museum in January and judged in three categories based on level of ability: works created independently, with assistance, and with hand-over-hand assistance.
“The individuals served get such a kick out of the event, from creating the art project to getting recognition for their talents,” said Christina Albert, Activity Coordinator for Easterseals Adult Day Service.
John Jimenez, Ruth Woodard, and Christopher Lee were all selected for top honors and will have their works displayed at the Mayerson Jewish Community Center through the end of February as part of its Inclusion Art Exhibit.
“This was the first year for it being at the museum and was very exciting,” said Beth Clevenger, Easterseals Adult Day Service Coordinator. “It not only made the participants proud, but their families as well.”
Each participant had the opportunity to express themselves in the media of their choice. “We had watercolors, acrylic paint, and glitter,” Clevenger said. “Most used techniques learned from OMA.”
OMA, short for Opening Minds through Art, is a therapeutic program developed by the Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University. It was originally designed for adults with dementia to stimulate the use of imagination to focus on strengths rather than lost skills. Easterseals expanded the program to serve adults with developmental disabilities.
“I am immensely proud of all our individuals who have grown so much during their time in OMA,” said Susan Mordigal, who oversees OMA at Easterseals. “It is a special joy to see our Special Olympics participants taking their learned experiences and talent out into the community.”
Easterseals held a separate ceremony to honor all the artists who contributed works to the art show, including Michelle Stern, Lisa Horne, and Ray Stone.
“They loved seeing [their art] displayed at the museum,” Clevenger said. “Raymond’s mom said that it was all he talked about afterwards.”
Easterseals Adult Day Service is designed to provide opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities or dementia to be active in the community and maintain social and therapeutic relationships. For information about services or enrollment, contact Cindy Aardema, Easterseals Community and Family Engagement Coordinator, at 513-386-6807 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Mayerson JCC is located 8485 Ridge Road, Cincinnati, OH, 45236. The Inclusive Art Gallery is open to the public during business hours.
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