The Art Studio provides opportunities for all artists at Sherbooke – whether beginners or experienced practitioners – to express themselves, to give back to their community, and to engage fully in life.
The studio creates an environment for experimentation and self-expression. We are not interested in teaching art classes, but in facilitating the creative process through self-discovery and self-exploration. The artists in the studio program find a new voice, and this new voice empowers them.
Most participants have never made art before, and many of those who have are relearning and adapting to the process as reduced and restricted mobility and cognitive challenges present them with new limitations. With perseverance and dedication these limitations grow into strengths.
In recent years, the studio at Sherbrooke has grown beyond its walls. We collaborate with schools and other long term care and health care organizations, and we provide hands on training opportunities for nursing, pharmacy, social work, and English students.
Partnerships with a number of groups are developing, as health care professional notice the dramatic improvements in participants’ physical, social, and mental health. Long term care organizations from across Western Canada have expressed interest in the studio program, providing us with the opportunity to serve as a regional and national training centre.
A National Film Board film, A Year in Sherbrooke (2009), follows two artists as they work with the residents of Sherbrooke Community Centre, a long-term care facility in Saskatoon, and explores how creativity can transform people's lives. The two artists and residents involved demonstrate the healing power of art, and show how "art can give hope to the hopeless and provide a sense of life beyond disability."