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Talent Showcase at Sakonnet Bay Manor

The residents at Sakonnet Bay Manor on Main Road

The great room of thewas alive with art, inspiration and talent during Monday night's resident art showcase.

Amidst displays of oil paintings, bone-carved scuptures, hand-made bags and cast-iron toys, blue ribbons emblazoned with the words 'exhibitor' adorned the chests of the show's 25 artists like badges of honor.

"This really lifts their spirits tremendously," said Sheila Souza, activities director and co-organizer of the art show. "I have seen their faces just light up when they start talking about the art show. We have given them an opportunity to show their art to the other residents and their families and it means a lot to the residents to be takig part in an art show at this stage in their lives.

The Sakonnet Bay Manor services about 170 live-in residents at all care levels: independent living, assisted living, healthcare and althziemer's care. Souza said all four levels of care have artists represented in the art show.

"What is most amazing to me is knowing the residents now and seeing what they have done in their lives - at the most active part of their lives," said Marie Ferree, a pool attendent at the Sakonnet Bay Manor.

The show covered a multitude of mediums from greeting cards to model ships to pastel renderings. 

The shows oldest participant, Saul Belson, 102, covered an entire table in his carved-bone and stone sculptures. Belson, a former dental technician, said his work as a dental tool researcher and a visit to the ancient Egyptian exhibit at the Chicago Museum of History inspired him to turn bones into art.

"As a technicial I was always doing something [with the tools], I started carvign and got a feel for it," said Belson. "When you're sculpting it's a feel relating onto stone or bone."

Over the years, Belson's works have been displayed in the Chicago Library.

In just a couple of months Souza said the residents came up with the idea to showcase their talents and organized the art show - complete with wine, fruit and cheese. They plan to make it an annual event.

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