“I paint for the pure pleasure of doing it,” says Adele S., resident of The Knolls, “and, when it comes out decent, it’s a very pleasant surprise!”

Adele is one of the residents who frequently attends the art classes at The Knolls. She and several other residents gather to work on their different art projects, with the assistance and direction of David Cuffari, an experienced artist and teacher.

“I’m very passionate about art and I try to pass that passion on to the students,” says David. “With art, you’re an involved and active participant.”

The art classes are held weekly on The Knoll’s campus, and usually last about three hours, with residents coming and going as they choose. Whether they’re working on a drawing, watercolor, or acrylic painting, David helps each of the students.

Boy by the Water by David Cuffari

“I’ve been coming to the art classes for a little over two years. Never in my life had I done artwork, but I have a wonderful time and I love having David as a teacher,” Adele says. “He’s very knowledgeable, very compassionate, non judgmental and encouraging.”

“My teaching style can be compared to an editor for a writer,” says David. “I work one on one with each person, who is working to their capacity in their medium. This allows for the individual voice to come through. Teaching everyone to do the same thing is against the notion of creativity.”

 

The Benefits of Creating Art

There are many benefits to creating art, including physical, emotional, and mental benefits. “Just like exercise for your body, it’s exercise for the mind,” says David.

Creating art has the potential to relieve stress, enhance memory, improve problem-solving skills, and heighten emotional intelligence. It also develops hand-eye coordination, and changes the way artists look at their physical surroundings.

The Bluebird of Happiness by Adele Schneider

“I’ve learned to look at things in a different way,” says Adele. “Before, I had never looked specifically at the landscape and the trees, to see how deep the horizon is, and to see where it meets the grass. It opens up a whole different way of looking. This is one of the fringe benefits.”

Another benefit of making art is the feeling of accomplishment and pride after completing a project. Adele is most proud of a watercolor of a blue bird she painted, titled The Bluebird of Happiness. It received a gallery award during the LeadingAge NY art exhibition for residents. It is now framed and hanging in Adele’s apartment home.

Adele says, “Art and music are an important part of life. In terms of culture, there’s nothing more pleasurable or significant than art. People who are really talented can make statements about the world and give pleasure to other people when they produce pieces.”

For more information on the art program at The Knolls, please give us a call today at 914-468-4728, or visit us online.

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