Mather Pavilion Spotlights Art Therapy with Collaborative Loom at Evanston Arts Festival


EVANSTON, Ill. (Aug. 1, 2013) — An interactive weaving loom sponsored by Mather Pavilion, an award-winning skilled nursing care residence, will be one of the featured audience-created artworks at the City of Evanston’s Lakeshore Arts Festival this weekend at Dawes Park.

The brainchild of Mather Pavilion art therapist Caroline Even, the oversized loom measuring 6-by-5 feet will invite attendees of all ages to participate in its creation at the festival Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 3–4. To cultivate community discussion, booth visitors will be given the opportunity to write down their perspectives on aging on colored fabric, and then weave the strip through the loom. The masterpiece, revealed at the end of the festival, will thus result in, “a multi-colored, multi-textured art piece that quite literally weaves together an array of views on aging well,” says Even.

Creating this connection between outside perspectives on aging and Mather Pavilion’s internal art therapy program for enriching the well-being of older adults is a key intention for Even, a recent graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago’s masters program in art therapy. She hopes to highlight the innovative program that offers one-on-one sessions tailored to address each resident’s unique needs, while developing personal strengths and interests.

Given her psychology-dense education, Even waxes inspiration of art’s powerful effects to reinvent, renew, and restore, even for treating serious illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Before recently transitioning to her permanent position, Even coordinated a month-long gallery exhibit in April that showcased residents’ subsequent artworks from a six month exploration of art as a therapeutic venue for memory support.

 “Art therapy interventions can utilize strengths and reinforce existing cognitive abilities, while promoting fine motor skills and coordination,” Even says. “Through engaging with art materials in collaborative group settings, people with dementia can strengthen relationships with peers, caregivers, and family members.”

Mather Pavilion’s art therapy groups meet five days a week and includeoccasions for intergenerational engagement, art history discussion, multimodal explorations, and interaction with diverse art materials including paint, clay, photography, paper-making, felt, and fiber arts In the future, Even plans on collaborating with community members to bring the weaving project to locations outside its Mather Pavilion home, integrating personal stories and viewpoints on a grander scale while sharing the power of art and encouraging people to think about long-term care in a new way.

Aside from the loom, the arts celebration will also feature live jazz and classical music, a silent art auction, and the ever-popular Children Craft’s Tent on Dawes Park’s spectacular lakefront spot. Admission is free, and food from a myriad dozen restaurants will be served for public culinary enjoyment. Directions to Dawes Park’s official address, 1700 Sheridan Road, can be found on the City of Evanston website. The festival will be held at the northern division of the park, at the intersection of Sheridan Road and Church Street.

The City of Evanston’s Cultural Arts Division has hosted the Lakeshore Arts Festival since 1973. This event was also funded by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council and other local sponsors. This year marks the festival’s 41st annual.

About Mather Pavilion

Mather Pavilion is an award-winning senior living residence for those who require skilled nursing care, memory support, or rehabilitation services. Located in a pleasant Evanston neighborhood near Northwestern University, Mather Pavilion offers a comfortable setting where older adults enjoy companionship, encouragement, and activities that stimulate mind, body, and spirit. For more information about the programs of Mather Pavilion, visit online at, or call, 847-492-7700.

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