“The art of making art is putting it together.” This line from Stephen Sondheim’s hit Broadway musical Sunday in the Park with George, is sung by artist Georges Seurat as he laments the endless hoops he has to jump through to create art that will sell. (Trivia question: what recording artist included a version of this song on her “Broadway Album” in 1985? Check out this awesome video to discover the answer.) Putting it together doesn’t only apply to professional artists, but also the many benefits art has on everyone’s brain. Staying creative is especially beneficial for the 55+ set.
According to Bruce Miller MD, a behavioral neurologist at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center, while brains inevitably age, creative abilities do not necessarily deteriorate. Actually, the aging brain responds well to art by allowing the brain’s two hemispheres to work more in tandem.
Love to paint? Draw? Sew? Build things out of clay? Engaging in these activities and anything like them that requires a combination of creative expression and the use of small motor skills; is a great way to get brain neurons firing. When you sit down at an easel or pick up a colored pencil, you engage the creative space in the brain. Deciding what goes on the paper, selecting the right shade of blue for that piece of sky, all of those involve creativity and decision-making. As you move the brush or pencil over the page, you work the muscles in your hands and arms. Add that to everything that’s going on in your brain and it’s a winning combination! The element of socialization that comes from participating in an art-oriented group activity is an added bonus.
While we hope that the art we amateurs create will be loved and appreciated, chances are it won’t find its way to a gallery or museum exhibit. But visiting a museum or gallery to check out art made by the pros is an interesting and fun way to spend an afternoon.
Milwaukee has many great places to do exactly that. Popular destinations for art lovers include the Charles Allis Art Museum, Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum, Haggerty Museum of Art, Grohmann Museum, and Northpoint Lighthouse Museum.
These museums along with the “big one,” the nearby Milwaukee Art Museum should be on everyone’s list of local places to explore.
Let us help you put it together!
Eastcastle Place’s own beautiful campus boasts museum caliber artwork including fabulous antiques, prints and paintings, amazing glasswork, and much more.
Furthermore. there are numerous proven emotional, physical and social benefits for Eastcastle Place residents who participate in art projects and visit local art museums. Check out our events calendar to see all of the ongoing art activities within Eastcastle’s own doors.