MOUNT VERNON, N.Y.—December 21, 2018—Wartburg dedicated a beautiful mosaic bench their nursing home residents help create, in partnership with The Westchester County Chapter of the Links, Inc. and the Clay Art Center.
Once a month for the past year volunteers from The Links and the Clay Art Center in Port Chester have worked with Wartburg’s nursing home residents, many of whom are living with Alzheimer’s disease or other related dementias, to create the many pieces that make up the “Go with the Flow” mosaic bench installed in the Waltemade Skilled Nursing Facility outdoor courtyard. The bench sits next to the koi pond in the spacious courtyard, with elements such as frogs, stones, lily pads and koi fish covering the bench’s surface to seamlessly bring in the elements of the pond. Each piece of clay art has significance including the 12 fish on the bench’s seat, representing the first 12 Wartburg participants when the program began 3 years ago; six white lilies, representing The Links’ first six volunteers; and three lily pads with frogs, representing the partnership between Wartburg, The Links and the Clay Art Center. The mosaic bench was dedicated at Wartburg’s annual Fall Festival.
“Wartburg is always looking for ways to improve the quality of life for seniors, particularly using arts and music in traditional memory care environments. To this end, it was inspiring to have partnered with The Links and the Clay Art Center and it is my hope to continue this relationship going forward,” noted Wartburg President and CEO Dr. David J. Gentner.
The Links have a longstanding partnership with Wartburg. The group annually gives presents to our residents during the holidays while spreading good cheer. The founder and facilitator of the clay program, as well as the bench designer, Earlene Cox, started the program with funding from The Links after discovering the healing benefits of clay for her mother, who also lived with Alzheimer’s. Ms. Cox also found that working with clay helped her heal from her mother’s passing. Her passion for the healing power of art prompted her to deepen The Links partnership with Wartburg through this innovative and stimulating program.
“Through its program “In An Art State of Mind,” The Links is proud to have taken its advocacy for those who have dementia and Alzheimer’s disease to a new level, by developing a program that uses clay to stimulate the minds and creativity of those who have dementia and Alzheimer’s,” said Ms. Cox.
Ms. Cox has a studio at the Clay Art Center and is on the Board of Directors for both the Center and The Links.
“During each monthly workshop, bonds were made through the art of clay, as Clay Art Center instructors and Links volunteers worked one-on-one with residents to create the hundreds of tiles that culminated in a beautiful mosaic,” said Kelly O’Sullivan, Community Arts Manager, Clay Art Center. “There is a lovely metaphor that can be found in the art of mosaics, as one tile cannot make a full picture but needs the others to complete it, so too does our community of seniors and the partnership between our three organizations have allowed for a therapeutic and life enhancing experience.”
Westchester County Chapter of the Links, Inc.
The Links is a premier African American women’s service group. The chapter was established on June 10, 1950 and has since provided services to the Westchester County community. The Links combines a long-term commitment to local projects with attention to the themes of the National Links organization. Currently, the chapter has 41 members who provide community service through five facets: National Trends and Services, The Arts, Services to Youth, International Trends and Services, and Health and Human Services. Learn more about the Westchester County Chapter of the Links at: www.westchestercountylinksinc.org
Clay Art Center
Katherine Choy and Henry Okamoto founded the Clay Art Center in 1957. Established in Port Chester, New York, the Clay Art Center engages the public and fosters new artists through classes for children and adults of all levels. Visit the Clay Art Center at: www.clayartcenter.org.
Wartburg, located in Westchester County, NY, offers integrated, comprehensive senior residential and healthcare services. Unlike conventional retirement communities, Wartburg provides a wide range of services to both residents living on its beautiful 34-acre campus and people in their own homes. From independent, assisted living and award-winning nursing home care to inpatient/outpatient rehabilitation, home care and adult day care services, its continuing care approach has earned Wartburg a trusted reputation in Westchester. Wartburg also provides caregiver support at every stage with an array of options to find the level of care that considers the whole family. Wartburg was named one of the “Best Nursing Homes in New York State” by U.S. News & World Report for the ninth consecutive year in 2019. In addition, Wartburg received the 2016 Eli Pick Facility Leadership Award from the American College of Health Care Administrators and the 2015 Legacy Award from the Westchester County Chapter of the Links.
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