Senior citizens and high school students express themselves through art

MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP) - Open Minds Through Art is back for its 3rd year at Harmar Place Rehabilitation and Extended Care.

The program pairs seniors suffering from dementia and Alzheimer's with students from Marietta High School for 12 weeks to bond and create a painting. Sunday, those paintings were revealed and given to the seniors to keep in their rooms.

Many students were grateful for the bond they developed with the seniors and look forward to doing the art project every year.

Patricia Vargas is the Chaplin at Harmar Place and organizer of Open Minds Through Art.

Vargas, says the relationship benefits both the youth and the seniors. The students benefit from developing more patience and learning about Alzheimer's and dementia. The seniors are just happy to have someone to spend time with and talk to.

Sydney Westbrook is a senior at Marietta High School and has been apart of the program every year, but this year was different.

"I've been with a different person each time, but this time...I was with my grandma, so that made it a lot more special and fun for me," said Westbrook.

Vargas says, the seniors come alive doing these projects.

"They can express themselves; even sometimes they cannot talk and they can't express what they are feeling. They can express that with art," said Vargas.

Open Minds Through Art will be back at Harmar Place during the spring for another 12 weeks and many students are looking forward to it.



 
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