McLean Residents Find a Personal Meaning in Art

McLean’s Therapeutic Recreation Team Along with Art Therapist Kim Starr,  Introduce a Dynamic New Program, Reminisce through Art


Reminisce through Art is a program designed to elicit storytelling and the sharing of memories, while residents create artwork in a group setting. Art Therapist, Kim Starr, along with the McLean Therapeutic Recreation team, have found it to be an inspirational activity which motivates group participation and creativity.

Kim focuses each project on a meaningful theme, including seasons, holidays, celebrations, family activities, vocations or hobbies. She begins each session by providing project samples, copies of fine art, or partially created projects to inspire creative expression by the residents. Each person is encourage to participate, either by engaging in the art activity, listening ,  sharing their own story as it relates to the theme, handling the materials, observing or commenting on the work being done.

Recent projects have incorporated a variety of mediums including water paint, collage, and table top weaving.  Residents have learned new skills or enhanced existing ones, and have explored color, texture and patterns. They have been supportive of each other and excited by the beautiful creations they have completed together.

This unique and wonderful program is made possible by the Jean Berg Endowed Fund for Reminiscing Therapy.   For ten years, Jean was a weekly reminiscing volunteer, accompanied always by her devoted dog, Tricky Wu.   In honor of Jean’s devotion to McLean, Howard Berg created this Fund to ensure the continuation of his wife’s valuable work.

Sample artwork created by residents in the Reminisce through Art program. This banner, designed around a patriotic them, used fabric collage techniques and took several sessions to complete. Residents shared stories about parades, military service and holidays as they worked alongside each other.  

 Participants each added their own row to this table top weaving project, combining patterns, colors and materials that reflected their individual differences. They were thrilled to see the finish product mounted and put up for display.