Assisted Living Monthly Service Fee Incentive

How Art Coordinator Helps Residents Make Our Campus Their Canvas

For most people, the process of creating something is a voyage fueled by wonder and anticipation, where each stroke of a brush or pencil is a step into the unknown. Every dab of color and every line vibrate with a thrilling mix of excitement and trepidation—transforming a blank canvas into a playground of endless possibilities.

Art Coordinator Kim Rohrs knows the feeling well. She radiates a sense of playful enthusiasm in her approach to art. Her vibrant geometric earrings and infectious smile visually embody this philosophy.

Leveraging her background as an art therapist, Kim understands the profound impact art can have, especially the benefits of art for seniors. By fostering a supportive studio environment, residents of all abilities are welcome and encouraged to explore different mediums, from clay sculpting to watercolor painting and knitting. Kim’s passion for art lies in igniting a love of creativity and self-expression, emphasizing that art is a journey of discovery and enjoyment—not just about technical mastery.


Benefits of Art for Seniors

Art Coordinator Kim Rohrs teaching a classAt Westerwood’s art studio, there’s a little bit of everything. Whether you want to draw, paint or try your hand at a craft, the studio will likely have exactly what you need to make your creative vision a reality.

“I like to joke that we have five of everything,” Kim chuckles. “We have a well-stocked art studio thanks to funding through Westerwood and plenty of resident donations.”

And with ample supplies at the ready, Kim wants residents to know that art is for everyone.

“I think it’s common for many adults to think they’re not good at art,” she says. “I encourage playfulness first. It’s about having fun and coming at it with a playful attitude. We don’t give grades here.”

She adds that a common misconception in the creative process is the prevailing notion that all the value lies solely in the finished product.

“There’s an old adage in art therapy: Put the process over the product,” she continues. “Don’t just focus on what the end product will be. Enjoy the feeling the brush makes across the canvas with the paint, how the paint blends and being with other people who are also making things. Be willing to learn something about yourself.”

Kim explains that one of the significant benefits of art for seniors is the opportunity to acquire new skills in unfamiliar territory. This skill-building enhances their overall technique and fosters confidence and a willingness to explore new ventures.

“It’s never too late to learn a new skill,” she says. “It’s never too late to try something, like painting classes. I’m aware that a creative space can sometimes feel intimidating to anyone who might not feel creative enough. Everyone is welcome here, and I’m here to help you find or make something that interests or excites you.”

Although you can come in and work on whatever you’d like, Kim says there are plenty of offerings like Drawing Day on Mondays, Clay Day on Tuesdays and a Painting Day. There’s also a needlework group that comes in on Wednesdays.”

Alternatively, if you’re curious about the studio and would like to stop by to say hello, you’re welcome. After all, another significant benefit of art for seniors lies in its social aspects.

“We have a lot of fun in there, so come hang out with us,” Kim says. “I can’t say it enough—this is a welcoming space. This particular studio has a bit of everything and is a pretty vibrant part of this friendly community.”


For the Love of Art

Art Coordinator Kim Rohrs teaching a classAs a professional artist, Kim is no stranger to the process of creating. Whether painting, knitting or sewing, she has to keep her hands busy “doing something.”

“I love thinking about what to make next,” she explains. “As an art therapist, the medium I choose depends on what I need in that moment. For example, if I need to process stuff going on, I’ll paint. But if it’s been quite a hairy day with a lot of noise, I’ll knit because that’s quieter and more predictable. It really depends on my mood.”

Although she was hesitant to name just one favorite thing about her role, she says it’s helping people re-engage with their creativity.

“I like that I can be part of residents learning new things here,” she says. “By giving them the tools and encouragement, it’s exciting to see them tap into their creativity, enjoy it and overcome any barriers that may have hindered their participation in artistic pursuits.”


Making Art an Event

As the art coordinator at Westerwood, Kim’s focus extends beyond creative programs or easy crafts for seniors—she’s making it an event.

Art Coordinator Kim Rohrs teaching a classThe community’s Paint N’ Sip event returns for a second year, and judging by the success of the last one, participants are in for another delightful experience.

“The Paint N’ Sips are a lot of fun,” she says. “It was a huge event. Like last year, I will hold a Paint N’ Sip event just for the residents before the event. I get many people to come who didn’t even know they were interested in painting.”

For those unfamiliar with the event, Paint N’ Sip focuses on painting a particular subject while enjoying the atmosphere and some vino.

“During these events, people want to play and have fun,” Kim says. “I also want to put people at ease because they always think they can’t do it, but it’s much less difficult than you might think. There are a lot of really cool tricks that make the painting so good and uniquely yours. It’s just so fun and social.”

MARK YOUR CALENDARS >> Interested in painting your own masterpiece while getting a feel of the community and Columbus, OH area? Join us for a Paint N’ Sip event on April 24 at 3 p.m. RSVP by calling (614) 568-0503


A World of Possibilities

We have a saying here at Westerwood: Our campus … your canvas. And that rings true when it comes to Kim and the art studio. Located just minutes from downtown Westerville and Otterbein University, Westerwood’s 23-acre Life Care Community provides access to natural beauty, expanded culinary choices, new friendships and opportunities to learn, grow and create. Schedule a visit by calling (614) 568-0503 today!

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