Older Adults Illustrate that Creativity Keeps the Mind Young

Print icon

Juliette Jutras will be celebrating her 100th birthday in August but this Cedar Mountain Commons resident has no intention of slowing down. Matter of fact, she was the only individual of 16 resident artists who created works in all seven categories for the fifth Masterpieces & Mimosas exhibition held in late June.

Jutras, whose interest in art began when she was a child, has participated in all the art shows that are a culmination of the art appreciation group’s studies. “So many will say, ‘I’m not creative,’ but it allows them to be playful, show a sense of humor and increases their feeling of worth, especially when someone says, ‘Wow, you made that – That’s beautiful!’” said Debra Labbe, activity director, who began the program nearly four years ago at Cedar Mountain Commons, an independent and assisted living community located at 3 John H. Stewart Drive.

The most recent exhibit included interpretations of Celtic art, Mexican folk art, Tlingit paper piecing, Sol Lewitt, Claude Monet, Takashi Murakami and Jackson Pollack. The artists created the works using paint on canvas and glass, paper, tissue and other materials. Labbe strives to expose them to different styles “from classical masters to the up and coming. Diversity is the key and they never know what they are going to do until they come,” Labbe said. Using the colors and patterns coupled with the older artists’ creativity also supports their cognitive and motor skills.

Featured resident artists included Theresa Bibeault, Barbara Block, Ed Bobko, Connie Cornelio, Jeanne Ericson, Barbara Erskine, Lucille Faenza, Lauretta Hannum, Jane Hilbie, Kate Horstmann, Juliette Jutras, Barbara Kilpatrick, Suzanne Mantel, Eleanor Peterson, Eleanor Poland and Jean Whyte.

Mantel, who moved to Cedar Mountain Commons in February, tried her hand at Mexican folk art and Tlingit paper piecing because she found it easier to handle the materials rather than a paint brush. She has always loved art, especially Marc Chagall, and took many trips in the past to visit art museums with her dear friend, Peggy Gorman, also a Cedar Mountain Commons resident. As an art lover, Mantel thought it would be interesting to try creating her own works and said during the opening reception that she was pleased with her results.

The program has also received outside recognition include the Connecticut Assisted Living Association’s Managed Residential Services Award.

Cedar Mountain Commons is a not for profit independent and assisted living community owned by Hartford Hospital and Jefferson House, and is a member of Hartford HealthCare Senior Health Services. For more information about Cedar Mountain Commons, visit cedarmountaincommons.org.

 

 


What's New


Mulberry Gardens Pageant Showcases Older women’s Lives and Legacies

Words of wisdom, gleaned from years of life experiences, were freely shared and taken to heart at the Ms. Senior Mulberry Gardens Pageant 2019 held June 14 at the independent and assisted living community. “Look on the bright side,” “Do whatever you can possibly do,” “Stay active and exercise,” “Live...


HHC Staff Raise Awareness about World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

In recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15, staff members from Hartford HealthCare’s Center for Healthy Aging set up tables at several hospitals to provide free information about the services they offer to help keep seniors safe.  World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) was launched by the...


Soon-to-Open Healthy Aging at Backus Adds Coordinator

Kristine Johnson, former Eastern Region Director of the Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter, has been named the Resource Coordinator for the soon-to-open Center for Healthy Aging at Backus Hospital. Prior to her work with the Alzheimer’s Association, Johnson served as a Child Advocate for the Southeastern Connecticut Center for Juvenile Justice...


Lewy Body Dementia: What You Need to Know

By Dr. Barry Gordon When former Boston Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner passed away on May 27, his family shared that the near Hall of Fame player famous for a World Series error had been battling Lewy body dementia. Many people are familiar with the dementia associated with Alzheimer’s disease,...


Three Veterans Receive Wartime Service Medals at Mulberry Gardens

Many people remember their 21st birthdays. However, few individuals celebrate like Marjorie McKennerney did on her 21st in 1944: she enlisted in the U.S. Navy. “We were all very patriotic at that time. We all wanted our country to win the war,” she said, explaining why she felt compelled to...