“Creativity in Our Communities” is an ongoing series highlighting extraordinary artists from Hebrew SeniorLife’s senior living communities, including Orchard Cove, NewBridge on the Charles, Jack Satter House, Simon C. Fireman Community and Center Communities of Brookline. Don’t miss the next post in our series! Subscribe here for email notifications each time we publish a new blog.
Artistic expression in all its forms benefits our residents through the positive effects of relaxation, socialization, sensory stimulation and improved health and wellness. “We know that health and well-being are not just addressed in the clinic or doctor’s office, but through interventions in people’s everyday lives,” said Dr. Lis Nielsen, chief of the Individual Behavioral Processes Branch at the National Institute on Aging. “Participating in the arts is one way to intervene and there are many opportunities for research that can deepen our understanding of the relationship of arts to health in aging.”
Artistic expression is at the heart and soul of the Orchard Cove community. Our residents’ work is on display - from paintings and sculptures to stained glass, woodwork, textile art and mosaic – both in a public gallery and as you walk through the campus.
Each resident has their unique style, medium and creative vision that result in these individual masterpieces. Some are professionally trained with work featured in galleries and museums, while others began their artistic pursuits for the first time and their creativity flourished to produce beautiful pieces of artwork. This creative energy is reflected by the many residents who have discovered the benefits of creativity and self-expression in their lives.
Ceramics helped artist Daisy Brand find deeper meaning in the turmoil of her childhood. As a very young child, she and her family were forced into Auschwitz from their home in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia. Grievously Daisy and her sister were the only survivors. They returned to Bratislava where Daisy continued her schooling and eventually met her husband. In the early 1950s they immigrated to Israel where they were part of the birth of a new Jewish nation.
As a child Daisy always loved to draw, but her passion for ceramics began after taking a course on a kibbutz while in Israel. She was a natural and loved to teach others as well. Daisy's love for ceramics followed her to the United States where she studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and Boston University. Wherever she went, she searched for communities of fellow artists. For Daisy, ceramics was about experimentation utilizing different shapes, colors and glazes. Eventually, Daisy and her family settled in Newton, MA, and she created works in her own studio as well as teaching at the Newton Art Center.
Daisy is no longer creating ceramics due to her physical limitations with the medium, but wall sculptures she created over a twenty-five year period of her life are regularly displayed in the Orchard Cove Gallery. As her artwork has been exhibited around the world, these sculptures relate the power and pain of her experiences in the Holocaust.
In Daisy’s own words, “Artwork creates happiness and satisfaction. In unhappy moments, I turned to art to feel better.”
The slideshow below represents twenty-five years of Daisy’s artwork.