We had the pleasure of interviewing Tina Marie Ferguson, founder and creator of Artsy Smartsy. We talk about the story behind why Tina created Artsy Smartsy. We discuss how our world is in “lockdown” at the moment- Artsy Smartsy reaches our seniors in “lockdown” suffering from Alzheimers and dementia- how art is successful in reaching them and fighting loneliness and isolation. Tina shares with us all of the miracles that she has witnessed by art touching lives. We talk about the Montessori principles and how those are utilized. We dive into Dr. Gene Kohen and how his medical findings connect art with the brain.
In part 2 of our podcast with Artsy Smartsy we talk about why family members use art to engage with their loved ones. What lessons we can learn from that and the bigger meaning behind art and connecting with our aging loved ones. We discuss how we can use the materials we have at home and how to create art and conversation in times like this (in a safe at home order with Coronavirus).
About Tina Marie Ferguson & Artsy Smartsy
Tina Marie Ferguson is the founder, owner and headteacher of the award-winning senior education company, Artsy Smartsy, the largest for-profit senior art provider in Minnesota and Arizona, bring monthly art classes in ALL art mediums to seniors of all ages and abilities. She is the Executive Director of HeARTsy, a non-profit 502.c3 which brings FREE art classes to orphans, troubled youth, developmentally disabled, and families at risk in Phoenix, AZ. She is also a Certified Dementia Practioner and is apart of the International Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners. Tina has 45 years of daily art-making and a Master’s degree in Architecture from ASU, Tina has made art and design a lifelong passion. Artsy Smartsy began over 11 years ago in Minnesota and now includes over 500 seniors who reside in assisted living, memory care, veterans homes, group homes, Parkinson’s day programs, hospitals, and community library programs. Half of her students suffer from Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimers. Tina Marie Ferguson has served on many committees and regularly speaks to healthcare professionals on the benefits of arts and aging. Artsy Smartsy has received many awards including an honorable mention from the International Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners and Center for Applied Research in Dementia.
More information on all of her programs and art kits can be found at www.ArtsySmartsyClass.com. Feel free to contact Tina with any questions!