Amenida Seniors’ Community Keeps Creative Spirits High During COVID-19

Friday, June 19, 2020

As seen on the Kelly Clarkson Show, the residents at Amenida Seniors’ Community are channeling their inner-artists to recreate famous portraits through time.

“What started as a fun distraction for the seniors during COVID-19, has resulted in a delightful project for them,” says Karen Schaefer, Recreation Manager at Amenida Seniors’ Community during a CBC interview. 

Thirty days into the quarantine, and with outside visitors not able to visit their family members and loved ones, Schaefer tells Kelly Clarkson that she wondered how many more colouring sheets and word searches she could subject her clients to.

Schaefer began scrolling through social media, and came across the Getty Museum Challenge, where people use household items to recreate famous paintings. Inspired by this idea, Schaefer thought this might be a hit with the local seniors at Amenida.

With many of the seniors having full bachelor suites, and many of their own personal belongings, it was relatively easy to find items for many of these famous paintings.

Anthony van Dyke’s Self-Portrait with a Sunflower was inspiration for senior resident Jim Cullina’s self-portrait. Cullina walked by with a burgundy sweater, and a creative vision was sparked within Schaefer. She supplied him with the fake sunflower, and they used a shower hose to replicate the chain in the portrait.

Margret Beaver, wearing a lampshade, replicated Renoir’s Young Girl in a Straw Hat. Schaefar adds, “Someone else asked if I could find another painting with a hat because they wanted to wear the lampshade!”

Another resident, Ursula Fraatz, says her family thinks she looks like the identical twin of Queen Marie of Romania in 1924. “Blonde isn’t my colour,” says the 88-year-old resident. “But we’re all killing ourselves laughing!”

Most importantly, these creative photo shoots have encouraged an abundance of fun and laughter among these senior residents. Many of them are requesting their photos be added to Facebook, or that their children are notified, so they can see their witty interpretations of classical paintings.

For over 20 years, Amenida Seniors’ Community provides affordable, independent and assisted-living services in an accommodating facility that respects cultural diversity. With its prime location in Newton, Surrey, Amenida fosters community with an abundance of onsite amenities and recreational activities. 

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