Creativity is one of the things that make us human. The impulse to creative something from nothing is as old as humanity, as proven by some recent news out of Indonesia. In 2017, an archaeologist was studying caves on the island of Sulawesi and discovered a new series of paintings dating back nearly 45,000 years.
Lab testing recently confirmed the age of the artwork, and scientists believe it may be the earliest cave art ever created. As the New York Times reports, the paintings depict a set of eight humans with “animal-like features” on a hunt for wild pigs or buffaloes. It’s easy to imagine a tribe of hunter-gatherers relaxing in a cave at night, enjoying a feast, telling stories by firelight, and sketching scenes from the day on the walls of their cave.
Not only is making art something of a primal instinct, it also offers myriad benefits, particularly for seniors. Art therapy has been shown to improve mood and reduce anxiety, and it may also have cognitive benefits for seniors, according to the Chicago School of Medicine. Making art allows you to express yourself, gives you a channel for communication, and is a vehicle for lifelong learning.
A few of the many benefits of making art include:
- Expressing yourself
- Reducing anxiety and depression
- Developing a sense of playfulness
- Sharpening cognition
- Building a community
Plus, making art is plain fun. Ask any kid with a coloring book and a set of crayons, and they will show you the joy of letting loose with their creative side. If you’ve got the time, nothing beats an afternoon of mixing paints, getting your hands on some clay, or learning some new way to express yourself, your story, or your experiences.
At Brandermill Woods, we incorporate different types of art into our regular programming for our residents. Every week, we have a number of art clubs and classes, including pottery, our coloring club, woodcarving, yarn arts, and our drawing classes.
One of our liveliest activities is our Art Factory, which offers residents the chance to set up in our studio and work on craft projects together. A few weeks ago, half a dozen of our residents got together to build festive winter signs and snowmen.
“It’s so much fun!” one resident said of the Art Factory. “We enjoy making different projects, but it’s also nice to meet and chat with your friends.”