Assisted living center plans art workshop Tuesday

The Piper, a new assisted living and memory care community at 2300 N. 113th Terr., Kansas City, Kan., is holding “Portrait of a Family,” an art workshop.

The workshop will consist of three sessions in one of the households, during which families, including children, will work collaboratively with internationally renowned artist and Kansas City Art Institute professor Hugh Merrill. The end piece will be a collage artwork representing each participant’s family, made from reproductions of photographs and stories about childhood.

The first session is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1, and will be an instruction of scanning family photos and mapping their childhood. Seniors and their family members will bring in their family photographs. Copies will be made, and they will be used to create a family portrait collage.

The second session, set for 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 14, brings the families back with their printed copies of their family photographs. They will cut and paste to make a collage of multiple family images. Family members will be prompted to write stories, make lists and use their childhood maps from the first week to complete the collages.

During the final session at 6 p.m. Jan. 11, the collages will be returned to the families as they complete their two pieces of artwork.

“It’s such a great honor to have someone with the stature of Hugh Merrill come to our community for this wonderful project,” said Steve Shields, co-owner of The Piper. “This will be a great opportunity for our residents and their families to work with a professional artist to come together and make more than just art. They will make a lasting memory that will become a keepsake to pass on to future generations.”

Participants for the workshop will include residents of The Piper and their families, as well as anyone who may be considering a move to The Piper, seniors living in the Hazelwood neighborhood, and those who are “friends” of The Piper.

The Piper was built according to the Household Model, developed by co-founders Shields and LaVrene Norton. It strives to make a cultural change in the way care is given to residents, a spokesman said. It has familiar caregivers, and one of its goals is to provide residents with a strong amount of independence and responsibility.

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