Art In The Capitol: Features Paintings by People Living With Memory Loss

  • February 09, 2023


Art In The Capitol: Features Paintings by People Living With Memory Loss

AUGUSTA, Maine--It’s never too late to make art. That’s the mantra The Cedars, a nonprofit care community for older adultslocated in Portland, Maine, embeds in their “Opening Minds Through Art” program. The Maine Arts Commission is opening an exhibition of paintings in collaboration with The Cedars to promote programs that enhance the lives of older adults through arts education. The show runs from January to March 2023 in the Maine State Capitol Complex.

A reception honoring the artwork from The Cedars’ residents living with memory loss took place on January 31 in the Welcome Center of the Maine State House.

 The Cedars’ “Opening Minds Through Art” (OMA) program is broadly known in arts communities as Creative Aging, a national arts initiative that focuses on the health benefits of arts engagement and fostering lifelong learning opportunities in adults 55 and older. National studies have demonstrated older adult participation in creative activities strengthens skills mastery in a social environment and has positive psychological and emotional health benefits. OMA is a failure-free abstract art-making program, grounded in person-centered care principles. Participants have expressed their enjoyment and at times, astonishment at their own creativity. Quotes from the artists in the Art In The Capitol show include:

“I could do everything I wanted to in class. You encouraged me.” “I am not an artist… I AM an artist!” and “I am inspired by this!”

All Artists are Residents at The Cedars and OMA participating artist

The Cedars OMA is possible through a partnership with the University of Southern Maine and the University of New England.  This collaboration has provided attentive volunteers for the artists, a real-world learning experience and course credit for students, and a unique opportunity for bonding between residents and students. The Cedars’ Life Enrichment Manager Nicholas Viti and Teaching Artist Pamela Moulton started the program in 2015, enabling creativity to flourish among this older population.

The Art In the Capitol exhibition is open and free of charge every Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. The works can be viewed as a self-guided tour on the ground floor of the Burton M. Cross Building, located next to the Maine State House.

To learn more about the Cedars “Opening Minds Through Art” program watch this video:





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Martha Piscuskas

193 State Street
SHS 25
Augusta  ME  04333