An Attleboro resident and former art teacher has helped launch a program at a nursing home in Norton that allows the residents to exercise their motor skills and artistic talents.
The program was launched earlier this year at Daggett-Crandall Newcomb Home by Attleboro's Ben Macomber and activities director Sue Talavera. The participants have proven they have not lost the ability to create beautiful works of art. Residents in their 80s and 90s thrive during the program.
"When they're painting, they can do whatever they want," Talavera said. "They haven't lost their independence."
With each session, Macomber gives the class a theme. He shows an example of his art, and gives the residents simple instructions on how to recreate the painting and make it their own.
Macomber has been working with different art media for more than 50 years. He loved it so much that he taught in the Attleboro school district for about 28 of those years. He also worked for the Attleboro Arts Museum and Rhode Island School's Young Artist Program.
When Macomber retired at age 57, he began teaching a class at Lakeville Senior Center, and word spread about his program. Now he works in seven or eight senior centers in the Norton area, showing residents that you're never too old to create art.
"As long as I can still get around, I'll keep busy," Macomber said. "I'd hate not to have something to do."
Although he has worked with all kinds of media, Macomber aids seniors with watercolors since they dry faster and don't expel fumes like oils do.
"It's nice to be able to help others," Macomber said. "Realistically, we are put on Earth to serve."
For information on Macomber's classes, call 508-222-1422.