2018 Collaborative Art Project Begins January 19









Fabiola Alcala, an Occupational Therapy student, is seeking anyone with a neurological diagnosis who is interested in being a part of a collaborative art project. The purpose of this project is for the group of participants to express their experienced journey living with a neurological diagnosis and to develop a piece of artwork that will be part of a cohesive collection.

This artwork will be displayed at a local venue for First Friday in April, 2018. Capping this creative project to 20 participants.


Friday, January 19 from 6:30-8:30pm
Introduction, discussion and assessments

Friday, February 9 from 6:30-8:30pm
Group session 1

Saturday, February 24 from 10am-4pm
Group session 2 

Friday March 9 from 6:30-8:3opm
Group session 3 

Friday, March 23 from 6:30-8:3opm
Group session 4

Tower B, Suite B01, Providence Hospital, 3300 Providence Drive
(down the hall from Subway)

$15 fee for materials will be collected at your first session.

IF INTERESTED, PLEASE CONTACT FABY at fma38117@creighton.edu

Completing an art project is an enjoyable activity that can be done by yourself or with a group of people. It can be doing a drawing, a painting, knitting a scarf, or making a pottery bowl. You can either gift your creation to someone or tell everyone a story through your artwork.

Setting & Required Materials

A clutter-free room with a large table and chairs would be an adequate setting for working with various art mediums. The requirements and materials to utilize may include: a table with a flat surface, a comfortable chair, a cart or separate area with art supplies: rulers, scissors, glue, colored/pencils, markers, paint, paint brushes, paper or canvas and adaptive devices to facilitate grasp/grip and range of motion when using art tools. 

Special Considerations & Precautions

  • Proper body alignment and good posture while sitting or standing will increase your ability to comfortably perform reaching movements and stabilizing items with one or both hands, manipulate art mediums, and utilize art tools. Improper body alignment and biomechanics for reaching, grasping, transferring and releasing fragile and/or heavy items may injure or cause muscle tension to areas of the upper extremity (shoulder, scapula, elbow, and wrist/hand), upper and lower back. Self-awareness, compensatory methods and adaptive devices for maintaining arm elevation, grasp, pinch and dexterity, can be very helpful to enhance your ability to create your artwork comfortably and effectively.
  • Education about energy compensatory strategies to reduce fatigue would also benefit when working on a sitting or standing task for a long time. Taking breaks are important, whether it’s a brief stretch break and focusing on breathing with steady, long inhales and exhales.
  • Upper extremity sensory information is important when using tools that are sharp or handling art mediums of various textures. Sensory deficits or impairments for pain and temperature may burn or harm the skin. It’s important to be aware of sensory deficits you may have and use compensatory methods to safely handle certain materials (eg.: using a glove, magnifying glasses,  skin assessment).
  • Vision, hand-eye coordination, and proprioception (proprioception is your sense of where your arm/leg/body is in space) are necessary when scanning to locate items, reading labels, and for trajectory and goal-oriented movement of the arm. Visual and proprioceptive impairments may cause problems not only to locate correct items, but also motor planning and controlled movements to obtain the desired item.
  • Maintaining self-awareness and insight of social and spatial demands when working in a collaborative art project in a group setting is also important, as sometimes the room could become a crowded and a distractible environment (depending on arrangement and size of the group). Cognitive deficits in short-term memory, disorientation, inattention, difficulty sequencing steps and categorization of items are only a few issues that can pose problems with initiation and termination of performing this activity. 
  • Mobility and gross motor coordination is another consideration. Compensatory and adaptive devices can make a huge difference in performance of this task. A person with difficulties balancing and standing for long periods of time may require an adaptive mobility device for support, rest breaks, or an adequate chair/table that’s adjustable to facilitate posture and balance.

Just a few possible adaptations:

  • Wearing wrist weights (1 to 2 pounds) may reduce tremors and facilitate fine motor or coordination tasks e.g.: painting on a vertical canvas.
  • If you have tremors you may need to slide your hand across a surface that is eye level to safely reach and grasp items rather than reaching in space.
  • Foam tube grips on handles of art tools could help with maintaining grasp
  • Taking rest breaks, stretching the legs and arms, and  deep conscious breaths can help eliminate spasticity and fatigue
  • Sitting in a comfortable chair and having a table top with proper or adjustable height will enhance ergonomics for this activity
  • Working on a horizontal surface rather than a vertical surface helps decrease fatigue if strength of the arm  and  dexterity are effected.