Residents are invited to share in a touching local art demonstration that also supports individuals with severe and profound disabilities.
The Swann Special Care Center Art Demonstration and Sale will be held April 17–19 in the Parkland Art Gallery Lounge. The Parkland College Student Nurses Association and Nursing Program are sponsoring this benefit showing.
Students living at the Swann Special Care Center, 109 Kenwood Road, Champaign, will demonstrate how they create unique art during a reception from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 18. Artwork will be also available for purchase from 1 to 4 p.m. on April 17 and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 18 and 19.
Art is a therapeutic method and a communication tool for these residents, most of whom are unable to speak or write. Many of their art forms are Alexander Calder-style models of flexible materials or paintings of nontoxic watercolor and tempera paints. Art making offers the students opportunities for sensory stimulation, position changes, range of motion, and choice-making; art tools are often adjusted for their individual needs.
Parkland Nursing Program students and faculty, who provide pediatric clinical rotations at Swann, come to know the residents well. Their times spent there are often life-changing experiences in which they learn to communicate with and care for such individuals. Even as they attend to residents’ physical needs, nursing students discover how individuals with severe and profound disabilities still express themselves through the beautiful art that they create in the Swann art program.
Nursing Program Director Michele Spading said Swann Special Care Center residents “have always touched my heart. Many of them are unable to communicate verbally, but through their art they can express their inner essence, warmth, and individualism, and you can connect with them. It’s beautiful and meaningful.”
The colorful, abstract-designed cards make excellent gifts for Mother’s Day, upcoming graduations, and other special occasions. Prices range from $1 for postcards and greeting cards based on student designs to around $25 for larger framed pieces. Proceeds from the sale generate income to cover costs of occupational activities to Swann residents.