A piece of art worked on by local senior living residents is currently hanging in a Cedar Rapids museum.

Twice a month, members of the Anamosa Care Center and Pinicon Place hold Ageless Art activities, put on by Xene Abraham. Recently as part of this program, Abraham had the seniors create a blue-themed art, which she then combined into a roughly 40”x40” piece currently hanging in the Czech-Slovak Protective Society Hall in Cedar Rapids for consideration of their “Into the Blue” display.

The piece was created using different types of paper, like water color paper and canvas, and create blue circles using spoons from Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt.

A spot for an entry opened up last minute, and without any work of her own to submit, Abraham decided to submit the collaborative piece. She has a history of doing collaborative projects, having worked with the Junior Diabetes Foundation and teambuilding exercises.

Abraham started the program back in January of 2018 after a discussion with Becky Cooper of Above and Beyond Health Care and Hospice Care out of Monticello. Both believe in art therapy and the positive impact it can have.

“It allows you to de-stress,” Abraham said. “I love it because I can tell that their energy changes.”

Above and Beyond still sponsors the program, which has expanded to include visits ranging from Dubuque to Lisbon. However, Abraham visits each Anamosa location twice monthly instead of once monthly.

Even before starting this program, Abraham’s always been community-oriented with her projects with a passion for bringing art to people that otherwise wouldn’t have access to it. She’s collaborated with the Junior Diabetes Foundation, raising more than $25,000 over the last six years, taught for 13 years as a volunteer at Cedar Valley Christian School and does other various art classes.

Her visits to the Anamosa locations started last summer, around the same time she moved to the area. As the program has grown, she’s seen how it’s changed the residents. Not only have the numbers increased, but she can see the change that occurs each time she walks through the door.

The program uses simple projects, which encourages more participation.

“I’m getting more and more participants because they’re seeing it’s something they can do,” she said.

Thanks to a recent extension of the display, the artwork contributed to by members of the local senior living communities will be on display through the end of April.

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