Artists make art every day

Friday, October 14, 2016

Home is not a Place.

I was taking a course, OMA, Opening Minds through Art. Part of my training was to be the volunteer assistant for a nursing home resident making art. Anna was the nursing home resident I assisted. My first observation of Anna was this, "I want to go home please take me home, I want to go home." Anna was anxious with a deeply furrowed brow she had a baby doll in her lap being held there with one hand over the doll and with the other hand tugging at the caregiver making her plea from her wheelchair. Dr. Lokon our instructor and originator of the program looked at me and asked me to to take Anna as my artist. I agreed, I knelt down and spoke to Anna briefly ending with "would you like to go with me?" I did not give her any further information. She accepted my invitation to go without hesitation. In route to the art room I asked her about her baby doll, his name was Mike. When we got to the art room I asked to place Mike toward the center of the table where she could see him. We went through the opening ritual and instantly we started making art. I was given materials and some instructions I read along with Anna. We began, Anna called all the shots. Everything from what color background to the choices of paint colors. All of it was her own design I was just her assistant. Poor Mike was left in the middle of the table and not mentioned again. As she worked at her piece, she rolled acrylic maroon and ochre paint, she sponged on some silver paint, she finished with some splashes of bright teal and gold glitter. We pulled up the masking material laid out at her instruction in the first steps of the project. The big reveal is what you see here. No mention of Mike or going home, just "well, I'll be dammed, I am an artist." She looked at me and the finished piece and asked, "did the other's see this?" I held up her artwork and asked for everyone's attention and announced "Anna asked me to show you her work" the ooo's and ahhh's abounded, her face had more in common with a lighted Christmas Tree than the furrowed anxious face I first encountered. You see, home is a feeling, it's not a place. Making art transported Anna home the place of her own design.