On January 26, 2017, Affinity Skilled Living and Rehabilitation Center transformed into an amazing MoMa-like gallery. But, this was not just an art exhibit. This was a learning experience beyond compare.
The 8th bi-annual exhibit was spearheaded by Samantha Robinson, a Recreation Therapist at Affinity who holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from SUNY Albany. Her love for art radiated not only through the work displayed, but through the pride of residents who participated.
The exhibit was inspired by the techniques used by Pablo Picasso, Frida Kahlo, Vincent van Gogh, Henri Matisse, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, and the Cubism Movement. “Some residents who participated knew nothing about art, some never heard of the artists, some never visited MoMA”, said Samantha, who lead Affinity’s 52 participating resident artists through four months of educational and expressive sessions to prepare for the exhibit. The residents learned about each artist’s life, work and message. Samantha also noted that each of the artists chosen had some type of medical or physical obstacles and used art as a way to self-express, including Frieda Kahlo who, even with her physical injuries and use of a wheelchair, produced amazing artwork.
Maureen Brogan, Affinity’s Director of Therapeutic Recreation, said Affinity’s art program is incredibly important to the residents. Maureen noted that, although there is a stigma about people who live in nursing homes, they remain vital and not only can learn new things, but can create beautiful things. “The results are amazing. Our residents become so committed and passionate about the art program. Even those with dementia achieve incredible results through the repetitiveness of the program,” she said.
With resident families and friends in attendance, a performance by the Denise Givens Band, and wine and cheese, the evening was beyond compare and will remain a special memory. Judy Lassek, President of the Family Council at Affinity and whose mother has been at the facility for 3 ½ years, summed up the Affinity experience, “They do wonderful things here with these residents, always encouraging them and providing care and recreation that is second to none. Making them feel at home is what it’s all about”.
Affinity Skilled Living and Rehabilitation Center offers Short-Term & Long-Term Care, Physical, Occupational, Speech Therapy, an on-site Ventilator Unit, Respiratory & Pulmonary Rehabilitation, IV Therapy and Wound Care and is conveniently located at 305 Locust Avenue, Oakdale, NY 11769. For Information or to schedule a tour, please contact 631-218-5900 or visit www.ChooseAffinity.com