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Waltonwood Cary Parkway residents recently showed off their talents by hosting an art show at the senior living community located at 750 SE Cary Parkway. The free event was open to the public and featured paintings by residents as well as wine and cheese for guests to enjoy. Luba Kobzeff, a resident of Waltonwood Cary Parkway, was excited to participate. Luba, 90, will had her award-winning painting on display. She took home a bronze ribbon for her scenic oil painting during the senior games last spring, but painting isn’t something Luba always did. While she always enjoyed all forms of art, she picked up the craft last year and credits a weekly art class at the senior living community for introducing her to the new hobby. The class is led by a volunteer named Chester Williams, who teaches independent and assisted living residents learn how to paint every Tuesday and Thursday. 

“Chester is very artistic and takes the time to come to the community every week to spend two hours with us,” said Luba. “He is so gifted and inspired me to continue painting that’s why I try to paint at least once a week outside of the class. I have a second room in my apartment that I have dedicated as my art studio. I find it very relaxing to paint, especially scenery. The painting I won the bronze ribbon for included mountains with water and animals. I find it peaceful to paint the outdoors, and I had four of my paintings on display at the art show. No two people paint alike, and I am very detailed, which is something I hope the public enjoyed. The thought of expressing yourself on a canvas and having people look at it makes me feel good. I put a lot of love in my paintings, and I hope the public loveed them too.”

Painting offers many health benefits for seniors. Art therapy can improve memory, reduce stress and alleviate pain. According to the American Art Therapy Association (AATA), painting is a way to challenge the mind and improve cognitive abilities. The calming nature of painting is a way to forget about larger stresses and promote healthy, happy feelings. Regular art therapy engages the fingers, hands and arms, and the consistent physical activity can promote better blood flow and dexterity. With time, seniors who begin writing, painting or sketching may feel nimbler and experience less pain. Overall, art therapy can be a rewarding experience and can unlock hidden passions just like it did for Luba.

“Painting is therapeutic and helps to strengthen your memory,” said Luba. “The satisfaction you get when you achieve something is fantastic, and I always feel proud and accomplished when I finish a painting. To find a hobby that keeps me active at the age of 90 is a blessing. I never thought I would pick up a new hobby this late in life, but I am glad I did and I hope others give it a try. They may find out it’s something they enjoy too.”

The senior living community is constantly looking for new ways for residents to be active and live better. The art class is an outlet in which they can be creative and express themselves, and it especially benefits their mental, physical and spiritual health. 

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