Clay Art Center and Liz Yonkers Adult Daycare seniors put their own spin on the game

Viva Bingo!  The last thing I expected when I walked into the Liz Yonkers Adult Daycare Center was to hear Bingo being called out in four languages.  And that was truly a microcosm of my introduction to the center, an incredibly diverse, lively and creative group of adults bent on finding new ways to enjoy life.  This experience made the phrase “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” sound like a curse and definitely a falsehood.

Men and women filled the common area chatting, eating and laughing. Light streamed through the windows and the bright walls really made a small space feel full to the brim with activity. The center prides itself on not only offering fully subsidized programming free of charge but a wide scope of educational and creative workshops that include a “Photo booth”, acupuncture and painting. Not your average series of Medicare lectures that is for sure!  Even Bingo, the age-old pastime was flavored with a creative new update.

Instructor Mari Ogihara teaches handbuilding technique to senior program member

And that is where we came in. Clay Art Center teaching artists Tomoko Abe and Mari Ogihara bring in an unassuming bag of clay each week and turn Bingo on its head by creating personalized Bingo chips with students. Such a simple thing has energized the older adults who carefully craft each clay chip and paint/carve intricate designs that represent themselves. Along with a ceramic game box their Bingo chips have become the envy of the center.

This project is just the first in a series that allows adults to explore clay while creatively contributing a bit of magic to the center.  Next up is a collaborative chess board with self-portrait pieces as well as clay planters that will kick off a community garden.  So long live Bingo and its unique ability to bring together the Liz Yonkers Adult Day Care and clay!

This program is funded by the Liz Yonkers Adult Daycare Center.