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Pablo Picasso said: “The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” While art is in the eye of the beholder (one person’s masterpiece is another’s can of soup), it is believed that there is a bit of artistic flair in all of us, waiting to be set free.

In order to celebrate the art that’s all around us, as well as within us, a national day of recognition for the importance of art in our lives is celebrated each year on January 31st. “National Inspire Your Heart With Art Day” is meant to open us up to the power of art, whether we are moved to tears, erupt with laughter, or are transported to another place by sweet music.

“Residents at East Ridge enjoy a variety of artistic opportunities. As well as bringing their art to share in our community, we have found that a considerable pool of artistic talent resides right here, among our residents, whether accomplished or beginners,” says Mary Scott Russell, Director of Community Relations for East Ridge. “I’m so impressed with their varied mediums and abilities.”

Some of the East Ridge residents are still in the process of discovering their own talents. The list of artistic masters who continued to amaze well into their later years is a long one. Some acknowledged greats only discovered their talents relatively late in life. Grandma Moses is the obvious example of someone who went from obscurity to the international artistic spotlight well into her late 70s. Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, Mary Delany, Bill Traylor and Noah Purifoy are other examples of artists who saved their best till last.

Assisted living at East Ridge recently introduced ongoing art instruction for the community’s residents and this month their focus is on watercolors. Regardless of skill level, the opportunity to let one’s artistic passion flow helps to reduce stress, boredom and depression, while boosting self-esteem and self-confidence. It can help maintain hand-eye coordination, cognitive abilities and concentration.

Residents and artists Barbara Pickle and Annie Gonzalez are members of the East Ridge “Artists in Action” group that brings together artists in the community. They volunteered to teach art for assisted living residents several times a month.

Barbara pursued drawing and watercolor painting at the Boca Museum Art School when she retired. She finds painting gives her joy and a feeling of calmness. Annie began painting on a trip to Mexico with a group painting churches and streetscapes. In Puerto Rico she studied at the Art League in Old San Juan and when she moved to Miami she enrolled in classes at Fairchild Tropical Gardens.

The East Ridge maintenance free lifestyle affords them time to volunteer and they enjoy sharing their talents with others. To find out what’s happening at East Ridge on this or any other day, just call 305-256-3564 and enjoy a tour of our community.

About East Ridge at Cutler Bay
East Ridge at Cutler Bay is Miami-Dade County’s only true life care retirement community. The not-for-profit community draws from the neighborhood charm of suburban Cutler Bay and the vibrancy of Miami in a lush tropical setting of 76 acres, located at 19301 S.W. 87th Avenue. The community offers a continuum of care including independent and assisted living apartment homes in a neighborhood setting, respite and skilled nursing care, and rehabilitation services available within Three Palms Health Center. For more information or to schedule a tour, please call or visit (305) 256-3564 www.EastRidgeAtCutlerBay.com

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