Atrium Village’s new arts program inspires residents to explore their interests
By Nadine Matthews
Special at AFRO
Atrium Village, which bills itself as a seniors’ community, has been a staple of Owings Mills for 20 years. Offering assisted living, independent living, acute care and a range of other services, the administration strives to create a strong sense of belonging and community for its residents. Atrium Village is now in the final stages of an 18-month, $13 million renovation of its sprawling, seven-acre campus. In addition to a redesign of the interior community spaces marked by a refined and ultra-modern decor, the emphasis was placed on the integration of works of art dotting these spaces.
Atrium Village has added an art studio and now offers painting and drawing classes, artist talks and gallery events, which sets it apart from most other senior residences. The decision to add this feature was driven in part by the interests of Atrium Village residents, many of whom are art enthusiasts.
Stacy Buckley, Executive Director of Atrium Village, speaking with AFRO explained: “We developed this program because of who lives here: very metropolitan, very well-educated when it comes to the arts. As we venture to renovate and revitalize, we really pay attention to what matters to our residents. »
For some residents, these amenities symbolize the potential realization of lifelong interests. “They don’t take care of family or work every day anymore,” Buckley explained, “so they have time to take care of interests that they may have always wanted to try but haven’t. could not have.”
Atrium Village has also partnered with community organization Art With A Heart to offer art classes. Residents have already enthusiastically participated in the signature program. “Having art at Atrium Village makes me feel beautiful. I find art uplifting and inspiring. Having our weekly art classes here at Atrium Village helps regulate my mood. Art gives me a sense of peace,” said resident Marvelyn Foster.
Buckley remarked of the residents’ reaction to the first classes, “They were just there working on a project together and everyone was relaxed and just enjoying letting loose for an hour and creating something cool. “
Many residents of Atrium Village like to be very active, and the administration tries to accommodate those needs as well. “They like to keep up to date with what’s going on in the community around them,” Buckley said. “As they get older, they still have these wonderful interests and want to do things and like to be involved in what’s going on in the world.”
The independent and assisted living spaces feature a collection of 40 photographs of Baltimore landmarks, among other important historic places, and a blown glass installation by Maryland artist Tim McFadden in the newly renovated lobby.
Called The Anemone Series, the sculpture consists of a series of ten scalloped edge Venetian glass slabs in bands of translucent white alternating with primary colors and mostly muted pastels. McFadden said in an email to AFRO, “I wanted to create something for the newly renovated lobby of Atrium Village. As this is the centerpiece around which residents, families and visitors will gather, it was important that the art evoke feelings of beauty, relaxation and happiness.
Atrium Village also offers residents culturally enriching experiences off-site, including a visit to McFadden’s famous glassblowing studio and gallery. “While visiting the McFadden Art Gallery, I was amazed at the level of patience they had for us. The instructors took us step by step which made the experience enjoyable. I give the McFadden Art Gallery a ’20/20′ for customer service,” Foster said.
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