“Lifetime of Looking” Program Resumes at the Bruce Museum

The Bruce Museum has reintroduced its popular “Lifetime of Looking” program serving the community.

“Lifetime of Looking” is an art appreciation program for adults experiencing cognitive decline and their caregivers. The program is offered at the Bruce Museum and at senior living facilities in the region.

For persons experiencing cognitive decline, the many benefits of engaging with art are well documented.  In a groundbreaking research study published in 2009, The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York proved their “Meet Me at MOMA” program provided significant, positive benefits for people in the early stages of dementia. The research showed that the intellectual stimulation, shared experiences, and social interactions offered by the program resulted in measurable short- and medium-term improvement in mood for both the persons experiencing cognitive decline and their caregivers.

“Lifetime of Looking” combines a guided tour and discussion of current exhibitions with a related art-making activity.  A trained museum educator guides the attendees through the galleries and leads a conversation about the artwork and objects on view, usually centered on a theme.  The group then engages in an art-making activity based on the theme and the techniques the artists used in the exhibition.  These activities can range from creating watercolors and mixed-media pieces to modeling clay and learning the basics of printmaking.

The museum educators at the Bruce are trained to work with adults experiencing cognitive decline.  They employ proven techniques to engage the attendees, such as asking open-ended questions that elicit reactions and opinions and allowing time for thinking and responding.  They can adjust the agenda to suit the needs of a particular group and make changes mid-program based on the reactions and mood of participants.

“Our goal with this program is to make the Bruce a welcoming and comfortable environment for adults experiencing cognitive decline,” said Kathleen Holko, Manager of School and Tour Services for the Bruce. “I am thrilled we are bringing Lifetime of Looking back for the public. The conversations about art that take place during this program are deep and profound and I look forward to hosting them again.”

Lifetime of Looking is offered monthly to the public.

The next session is on Thursday, June 13 at 2:00pm.

Go to BruceMuseum.org to find out more.