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Research shows that for many adults, artistic outlets can help with emotional and mental health by triggering the creative areas of the brain. Through the focus and time spent on creative outlets, many people experience a reduction in stress and an increase in positive feelings as well as moments of joy and a sense of accomplishment. Five residents of The Buckingham – Houston’s premier retirement community – know this all too well, as they enjoy creating art and were recently recognized for their accomplishments. Residents Eve France, Elaine Heffler, Inge Liesner, Doug Meyers and Ruth Wisner all won awards from LeadingAge Texas’ recent ArtsInspire™ contest for various visual art mediums. The ArtsInspire contest highlights the talents of seniors living in retirement communities across the state of Texas. This special distinction highlights the resident’s individual artistic talents and showcases the community’s emphasis on encouraging fulfilling and engaging activities as part of the Masterpiece Living® philosophy. The Buckingham embraces a wellness-minded attitude and encourages learning at any age, focusing on an individual’s key development areas – physical, mental, social and spiritual.


“We are inspired by each of these individuals for their dedication to pursuing activities that are stimulating and positively impact their overall health,” said Pam Ortiz, director of resident services and lifestyles at The Buckingham. “Art is something that we can all relate to through the expression of our imaginations. We hope that by the examples our ArtsInspire winners, others will be encouraged to find purpose-filled activities that can provide them with similar feelings of accomplishment and stimulation.”


The annual ArtsInspire exhibit takes place each year in conjunction with Older Americans Month and the LeadingAge Texas Annual Meeting. This year, over 200 entries were judged by experts in each of the award categories, leading to the celebration of the winners and finalists at the 27th art contest in Austin, Texas. In order to enter the contest, participants had to be over the age of 62 and current residents of a LeadingAge Texas community. The Buckingham’s five award recipients received recognition in the following categories:


  • Eve France: 2nd Place in Soft Crafts – Decorative
  • Elaine Heffler: 2nd Place in Painting – Watercolor
  • Inge Liesner: 2nd Place in Painting – Alternative
  • Doug Meyers: 1st Place in Photography
  • Ruth Wisner: 2nd Place in Painting – Master Works


“We’re proud of our winners and honored to have them in our community as an example of true dedication to a creative outlet,” said Cathy Lightfoot, director of marketing at The Buckingham. “As part of the Masterpiece Living philosophy, we coach and empower the residents to actively pursue activities that engage the senses and strengthen their overall health and well-being in an effort to enhance all levels of living. Seeing our residents receive this recognition is yet another example of how this philosophy is actively benefiting our community.” 

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