Art Programming is Vital for SVWC

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Artist/Instructor Gale Bowman-Harlow Shines Bright

March 2021

One of our many blessings at SVWC is our Artist/Instructor, Gale Bowman-Harlow, who says that it was a "God thing" that allowed her to transition from her time at Opus Oaks to teaching classes at SVWC. Gale has 25+ years of experience as the founder of the Berryville school Opus Oaks, an Art Place that closed in late 2015. "The transition from Opus Oaks to here was the perfect next step in my life," Bowman-Harlow says. "When the school closed, I didn't know Westminster-Canterbury was building an art studio. It was perfect timing."

The studio gets tons of natural light, and has plenty of storage space in cubbies and a huge closet. There is a lovely display area, a sink, and a pottery kiln. Before the studio was built, residents didn't have a designated art space.

No matter the age, Gale believes art can help develop hand-eye coordination, assist with visual acuity and open imaginations. It can also improve muscle tone in the hands, especially when working with pottery. For most, art is therapeutic. She has seen people who tend to keep to themselves open up through art and start talking to others in the class about their life. "Those who have experienced a lot of loss find a way to express themselves and find healing. It's also a heck of a lot of fun," she adds.

Since joining the SVWC family, Gale has inspired countless residents in every level of care.  She rolls her loaded art cart to Memory Care, Healthcare, and Assisted Living. Many have told her that they've never tried anything artistic before, then end up creating something truly fabulous! Most importantly, the process is bringing them joy and a renewed sense of pride.

Thank you, Gale, for sharing your beautiful soul and spirit each day.