Assisted Living Residents Sell Their Original Paintings To Help Feed The Hungry

A psychology major at a college near an assisted living community had always loved art, so she was quick to notice that residents of the community really enjoyed their weekly painting classes.

This fall, the student volunteer capitalized on their enthusiasm, organized a sale of their paintings, and raised $550 for a local food bank. That's enough to provide 2,750 meals to hungry residents of the county.

"Part of my goal was to give the residents an opportunity to give back to the community," said the fourth-year student who volunteers at the assisted living facility as part of the psychology major's field-study requirement. "One of the residents used to volunteer, and I know she wishes she could do more of the community-based things she used to do. I wanted them to have a chance to make a contribution."

The success of the fundraiser exceeded her wildest expectations, and gave a boost to the artists, who sold more than 30 paintings.

"They really liked it," she said. "They were really proud to see their art displayed, and they were pretty thrilled to see their names on paintings with 'sold' tags."

Each week up to a dozen budding Van Goghs gather together, raise their brushes, and create works in acrylic, watercolor, and tempera paints. Although at least one resident had some formal art training, others discovered their talent late in life. One man began painting last year--at the age of 100.

"They really enjoy art, and I enjoy watching them," said the student. "There's a lot of talent there."

Paintings by more than a dozen residents were matted and displayed in the lobby for a week before the sale.  For more, read the story.

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Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.