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ALFA has announced the winners of the 2014 ALFA Senior Living Art Showcase, a competition honoring the passion for community and extraordinary talents of seniors in assisted living, independent living, and memory care communities across the country. Each senior living community was asked to submit one digital photograph of a piece of artwork created by the collaborative efforts of at least three residents. Hundreds of creative residents from 158 communities, representing 33 senior living companies participated. 

Eight winners were selected from the pool of 158 exceptional submissions. Three Fan Favorite Winners were chosen based on popular vote through Facebook, and five Grand Prize Winners were chosen based on their interpretation of this year’s theme: It’s The Little Things in Life that Matter Most.

Each of the eight winning communities will receive a
painting party, featuring a variety of art supplies courtesy of art
showcase sponsor Sargent Art.

Sargent Art“Art is a powerful tool for residents to enjoy, experience and share,” says Program Manager Bhakti Oza with Sargent Art, a national art materials supplier.

year’s competition truly demonstrated the friendships between residents
and staff in senior living. Residents came together to tell stories
about the things they honor most, learn about their friends’ lives, and
share ideas about how to unite these cherished items into one
masterpiece,” said Richard P. Grimes, ALFA president and CEO. “The eight
winning pieces serve as shining examples of the engaging, community
environment that is present in senior living communities across the

A sample of showcase artwork will be on display at the ALFA 2014 Conference & Expo, May 19-22 in Phoenix, Arizona!

CONGRATULATIONS to all winners. THANK YOU to ALL participants!


Winning Submission Highlights:

(full submissions online at


Harmony, Fallbrook Woods Residential Care, Fan Favorite Winner 

art1 Our piece of Artwork entitled “Harmony” is a tribute to our community’s “Fallbrook Singer’s Chorus” and was created by the members of the chorus. The chorus is made up of many individual and unique voices; each small voice adds up to one big beautiful sound when the whole group sings together. This is our connection to the theme: “It’s The Little Things That Matter Most.” This theme is meaningful to the residents who worked on this project because it values each individual’s musical contribution to their beloved chorus.

Our focus is on providing all activities with dignity and respect in mind. For our art program, we set the residents up to succeed in creating meaningful works of art by offering quality materials (canvas, paints, textured brushes and tools) and using special techniques for dementia to assist residents in creating the same level of artwork that they would be proud of if they did NOT have dementia.

Help Feed Birds Tree, College View Manor, Five Star Quality Care, Fan Favorite Winner

art1 The Joplin tornado had such a lasting effect on this area that the subject matter was unanimous. Once the actual project was decided upon, the residents wanted to use as many natural elements as possible. The “tree” was from an actual tree destroyed by the tornado that was recently cut down for new construction. The rocks are also from vacant lots (where homes were destroyed. One of the artists is a master florist, the other a tole painter, and the third helped with creative design and painting and is also a tornado survivor.

The residents worked individually and together at several group meetings in the craft room to complete the project.


Helping Hands/Touching Lives, Foundation House, Brookdale, Grand Prize Winner

art1 In talking about the theme: “It’s the little things that matter most”, what came to mind was that “little” is also often times “simple” and the simplest thing is touch. We thought of the simple gestures: a touch on the forearm, a pat on the back, an encouraging hug, the High Five, the comfort of holding one’s hand. These are the “little things” we can do for one another. Thus the concept of “helping hands” was created. 

Although the residents each created their own canvas, they were a team working through each step, offering encouraging “oohs and ahhs” as the stencils were removed to reveal their work and suggestions and tips were freely given to one another if they weren’t happy with their progress, which, when utilized gave stunning results.

Art is such an important facet of wellness for seniors that we encourage it as much as possible here. Exploratory and educational, in our art classes we have the motto, “Art is a series of happy accidents!”

It’s The Little Things That Matter Most, Murrieta Gardens Senior Living, Integral Senior Living, Grand Prize Winner

art1 The residents felt that using seeds was an ideal way to demonstrate that even as seniors they are continuing to grow and change with each new season of life. The art project involved residents from both the assisted living community and the memory care community as everyone together adds to the collective community. A variety of seeds were selected to create the diversity represented by the residents, so a range of sizes, shapes, texture and color could all contribute to enhancing the outcome of the picture.

We were so excited to complete this project with both our Assisted Living and Memory Care residents together as we truly believe it is the little things that make us a great community!




Live, Laugh, Love, Alexian Village, Pathway Senior Living, Grand Prize Winner

art1 LIVE- live life to the fullest; LAUGH-laughter is the best medicine and brings out smiles ; LOVE- bringing caring, joy and happiness! The screen matters to the residents because it brought them together to create something that made a difference in all of our lives and the lives of others. 

The residents insisted on the patch work pattern with bright colors. Because so many people would have a “hand” in this project, the hand prints were a natural addition to the design. The residents painted, decorated and selected the words that not only their friend lived by, but we all do. They wanted to make sure whoever looked at the divider would feel the Love they put into it, Laugh at our silliness and Live with a happy heart.

We try to make our various creative projects have a purpose, for example…. creating and donating to charity. We also create projects that the residents can use and enjoy for themselves or give as gifts.

Love, Andara, Senior Lifestyle Corporation, Grand Prize Winner

art1 The residents have enjoyed working on collages and this was another way to expand on that. They took old magazines and found colorful pages. They then participated in gluing the rolled up magazine pages and placing them on the foam board. Acrylic paint was used to enhance the colors that came through.

The end result: A labor and work of art – created by “LOVE”.

We have an excellent art teacher who dedicates her time to making beautiful pieces of art work with our residents. She has been able to recruit residents to her art class that have never painted in their lives. It is very rewarding to see their art! Later this year we will have an art show to showcase their artwork.

Memory Garden Mosiac, Oak Meadows Senior Living, Grand Prize Winner

art1 The community mosaic is a large tree with images such as a loon (our state bird,) a cross (because we are a Christian organization.) There are flowers and a pond and blue sky with the words “Oak Meadows” to welcome visitors as they go into our garden.

We held an artist reception, where the tenant artists sat at tables with their clay tile and described them to visitors. We then had a big reveal for the community piece. It truly was magical. We are all so proud of it because we all worked on it together and it truly is “the little things that matter most” family, friendship, faith, smiles, etc.



The Flight of the Butterflies, The Arbors at Shelburne, Benchmark Senior Living, Fan Favorite Winner Living 

art1 Here in Vermont Spring is a long time coming and it is the little things like butterflies, sunshine, and birds that bring joy to our residents. These butterflies represent the hundreds of little miracles that we witness everyday in our community.

Our community takes pride in our activities program. At The Arbors we incorporate the six dimensions of wellness; social, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, physical, and sense of purpose. This specific art project demonstrated the social, emotional, intellectual, and sense of purpose dimensions of wellness. We make it a top priority to ensure that our residents are engaged in meaningful activity to provide the best quality of life for them. Our community, activities team, and residents are excited to see what the outcome of this showcase will be. 



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