From Our Editors
Theresa Bond Zelazny founded the Mobile Art Program (MAP) after seeing how the creation of artwork helped her mother reduce stress and anxiety during a six-month battle with colon cancer. Today, MAP works toward empowering seniors and people with disabilities through artistic expression, helping them cope with their situations, regain a sense of control in their lives, and develop interpersonal relationships. Instructors drive a VW station wagon to nine facilities throughout underserved areas of Austin every month and conduct art classes where participants learn about the colors, compositions, and brush strokes employed by artists such as Frida Kahlo and Vincent van Gogh and model their own works off of these techniques. Instructors bring all of the supplies necessary for each project, giving the participants experience with a variety of mediums. By creating art in group settings, seniors can simultaneously gain new skills, build communities of friends, and bolster their self-esteem. At least once a year, the organization also holds a mini exhibit in each assisted-living facility, where residents vote on their favorite pieces and everyone receives prizes.