Arkansas Health Care Association keeps resident spirits up amid pandemic with art contest

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (News release) — The Arkansas Health Care Association announced the winners of their virtual art contest, Art From The Window of My Heart, on Monday, June 1. Winners were selected on Facebook based on user reactions to pictures of art shared, with the artworks that received the most reactions considered to be the most-loved pictures.

Hester Insley of Crown Point Assisted Living in Sheridan was awarded first place. Second place was awarded to Kathryn Huenefeld, a resident of StoneBridge Heber Springs and third place was awarded to Wanda Prince, a resident of Chateau on the Ridge in Paragould. These facilities will receive a themed party for all residents.

Mrs. Insley, first place winner, is one of six siblings born in Dumas in a log cabin. She has always loved expressing herself through art and growing up hoped to one day be a clothes designer. Mrs. Insley previously taught private art lessons and has always had a love for animals which inspired her wolf painting. She says that having the opportunity to be painting again has brought her joy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mrs. Huenefeld, second place winner, rediscovered her love for painting after moving into StoneBridge. Her painting is a representation of her uncle Jim’s truck, but instead of the tools and farming equipment from her memories, she chose to paint spring flowers in the bed of the truck. The green color comes from her memories of her uncle keeping a can of John Deere paint in his tool shed. He would fix her broken toys and paint them with his green paint, something she says she will never forget. Mrs. Huenefeld also shared that she had a fantastic time painting and that everyone at StoneBridge felt like they won the lottery in being able to express themselves in such a unique way.

Ms. Prince, third place winner, is a former high school teacher. Her artwork was based on a photograph taken during her trip to India in 1974. The woman riding the elephant in the painting is actually Ms. Prince herself. During this trip, she had the opportunity to meet and speak with future Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Ms. Prince said that painting this image was something she has wanted to do for many years and that the isolation due to COVID-19 infection control measures finally provided her the opportunity to do so.

“We’re so thankful for the dedication of our staff to keep the residents’ spirits lifted. This virtual art contest is one of the many examples of their dedication to their residents,” said Cat Hamilton, a spokeswoman for the association. “We’ve been asking our staff to look for unique ways to keep all residents connected to their loved ones, and this was a great way to do just that. Our residents were encouraged to express what has been on their hearts during COVID-19 through art.”

The association’s Art From the Window of My Heart contest was a chance for residents to connect with loved ones outside their windows, as visitors are restricted in facilities across the state to help protect residents from COVID-19.

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