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t Vista del Monte, artistic inspiration is every-

where: in the peaceful park-like setting, the

fragrant pines and redwoods and the panoramic

mountain vistas for which the center is named. In

the third-floor art studio, residents polish their skills

with creative arts classes and activities such as jew-

elry making, painting and seasonal crafts, and the

sun-splashed balcony here is the perfect vantage

point to soak up the views. In the woodworking

shop, artists craft creations from hardwoods, gath-

ering inspiration from the surrounding botani-

cal beauty. “Vista del Monte has helped my artistic

journey in a myriad of ways; a studio area to paint

in, a room for an art show, special receptions for my

friends and neighbors and an abundance of support

from the staff,” says resident Marilou Shiells.

Never Too Old

Finding The Inner Artist

By Karen Hastings

anta Barbara’s rich natural beauty and

vibrant art scene inspire creativity—

especially for local senior citizens. With time

on their hands and passion in their hearts,

residents of Vista del Monte, The Samarkand

and Casa Dorinda retirement communities can

indulge in a diverse array of artistic pursuits,

from ceramics and sculpture to painting,

papier-mâché, pottery and jewelry making.

“People of all ages receive many benefits

from creative endeavors,” says Melissa Gill

Hausz, Casa Dorinda’s Activities Director. “The

specific benefits have been well documented

in helping people live happier, healthier lives,

which in turn may help us live longer.” Studies

show that creative projects stimulate the

mind, hone hand-eye coordination and provide

a sense of purpose and well-being. Engaging

in creative activities also enhances social

connections through the sharing of ideas and

common interests. Whether nurturing lifelong

artistic skills or discovering new expressions

of creativity, Santa Barbara senior citizens are

never too old to embrace their inner artist.

Top – A Vista del Monte resident hones his skills in the woodworking shop.

Bottom – Creating art for exhibitions at Vista del Monte brings joy to resident artists.

Vista del Monte



“You are never too old to

set another goal

or to

dream a new dream


– C. S. Lewis



Montecito Magazine

Fall 2017–Winter 2018