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Senior Living Lifestyle | January 30, 2019 | By Jessica Beck

“The Ball” Our Resident’s Interpretation

The Quarterly Creation Project was created at Carlton Senior Living with the intent to offer our residents in the Memory Care communities the opportunity to give and create an interpretation of their own regarding a renowned painting or photograph. This project allows the residents to be more than just a part of the creation, they lead it from beginning discussions, to the interpretation of it and the direction in which they wish to display how they view it. All aspects of the projects are hand crafted or chosen by residents from the people characterized in it or the message of it, each one reflective of that given communities unique viewpoint.




They were shown the iconic painting to the right known as “The Ball” by Victor Gabriel Gilbert. Born in Paris in 1847, Victor had studied with a renowned lithographer Victor Adam as well as Charles Busson, a landscape painter. From his studies he established himself as a painter of Parisian scenes. Beyond “The Ball” he truly exemplified in his work to showcase Paris in its natural state, highlighting the beauty of the market, dancing and scenic flowers.






First up is our Carlton Senior Living San Leandro community memory care who created a story titled “The Golden Era” in which they interpreted the painting, setting the scene as a socialite ball in which attendees were to make friends with those of wealthy status. 

The Golden Era
They are attending a socialite ball to make friends with the rich. (Gay) She is wearing a long beautiful blue dress with little boots and he is wearing a black and white tuxedo. (Violet .K) “Everyone looks sharp” (blanch). “We had more time in that time” (blanch). “It’s the 1900’s; look at what they are wearing.” (Gay) “It’s a high society Ball” (Mary). “I’m going to make it my story” (Gladys. R) “This is the story of Guinevere and Hal Treble.” (Gladys. S) “it’s very nice fantastic” (blanch) “Very rich I can’t attend that kind of party.” (Mary) “They just arrived to New York to the Astoria hotel to attend the ball of the year, they came back from their long vacation in Europe” (Gladys. R) “Ms. Guinevere and Mr. Hal Treble area couple, they met on a cruise and fell in love.” (Gladys. S, Betty. S) “They are attending this ball to see how the rich get rich and how they can make their own big money.” (Gladys .S, Gay. L) “The young lady Guinevere is not rich so the girl need to find and upper rich husband like Mr. Hal because she is so beautiful and can find a good man and she is very nice to the mother.”(Gladys. R, Connie. C ) “the dancing is beautiful.” (Blanch) “The building is luxurious” (Gay) “it’s the Astoria hotel in New York only the elite can go there the girl is lucky to go there.” (Gladys. S) I wish I was there (Violet) “I see it over there.” (Marie) “It’s a big dance” (Doris. S) there is a very famous seamstress that made her dress that’s why she looks like the other at the ball. She makes beautiful gowns especially for the ball.” (Gladys. R) “I want to go home that’s not Hawaii.” (Carolyn. M) “They got fashion cameras by the time they get there all the ones that needed to be there were there.” (Blanch) “She has to get married” (Connie. C) the famous designer of her dress is Federico Fellini she loves it all that’s why Guinevere promised herself that she was going to prepare her wedding dress with him and marry high” (Gladys. R)  


Next our Carlton Senior Living Davis community memory care aimed to recreate the painting using a variety of craft techniques that highlighted their interpretation of the scene itself promoting the theme of “fashion.” Each resident was able to contribute in some way by utilizing the craft materials that worked best for them. Some of our residents focused on creating the gold columns and archways that you see, while others helped lay down the glitter floor for foundation.


The outfits were cut out with staff assistance but the residents took on the full role of selecting which ones would be used for the scene. As an end result, a shadowbox scene was created to replicate the iconic painting.






After finishing the project showcased below in photographs, a Timeslips session was created based on the Shadowbox Scene entitled “Biff and Bill” 

“Biff and Bill”

Biff and Bill There are two twin brothers, Biff and Bill Wellington, and they had cousins named the Beaumont’s whom lived in Georgia. Their parents, were involved in high-end real estate, and they love to go to every ball, especially since its usually put on by Biff and Bill’s parents.Their fathers name is Howard, and he well respected. They get together at these balls to find women! Biff is looking for a future wife because that’s what his parents want for him. Bill, well, he’s a bachelor!






In the northern region our Carlton Senior Living Sacramento community memory care began with a discussion series about the painting. From the first conversation arose several intriguing aspects surrounding France. Residents were fascinated with the bright colored dresses worn by the women and the flowers that adorned the walls of the ballroom. The second conversation seemed to center around French cuisine and the dining experience. Wondering what it would feel or look like to dine in Paris, one resident shared that it appeared it would look like something out of a movie scene. The walls within our Sacramento Memory Care community showcase beautiful murals that are reminiscent of France. It was from the conversations and the space that they lived in that the idea was born to create a short film entitled, “A Night in Paris.”

This short film was created using a multi-dimensional interpretation. To begin the residents gathered to create the props needed, flowers being the most critical component.





During the flower arrangements, Chef Vincent treated the residents and staff to freshly baked French pastries to set the tone of the “set.”




Creating a walkway that resembled a Paris scene the residents painted white boards to be used.






Having built the set from the imagination of our amazing residents the filming began…..







To the left, our Carlton Senior Living Elk Grove community memory care gathered in their dining room, suggested by their resident artist spotlight, Clairece Lewis. The re-enactment led to discussions over the photographs that would be taken causing a commotion that made the residents feel like they were movie stars!



When Carlton PEOPLE magazine sat down to talk to Clairece about her most recent piece, she was not shy on the details. “I love the energy here, everyone is family even if they aren’t. I wanted to paint this so the memory would last forever. From the one woman in the red dress to the handmade hats, it was amazing how inspired I was. I’ll come back every year.”







The residents at our Carlton Senior Living Downtown Pleasant Hill community memory care envisioned a magazine in which the theme of fashion was showcased. Dresses, hats and gloves from the 1950’s era were gathered and residents received makeovers, dressing up in style for their “close-ups.” Every resident was included into the magazine in one way or another. The choices of what they wore were selected by them. Copies of the magazine were purchased for each resident to have and their families to receive and enjoy.

                        Below we hope you also enjoy checking out “The Ball” July 2018 Edition. 












When the residents at our Carlton Senior Living Poet’s Corner memory care viewed the painting they envisioned recreating the scene. Crafting their own version of the attendees they added a special twist on the end project when they added in resident’s faces on the ballroom dancers. Check out their creation!









The last, but certainly not least creation that we are honored to share is the story that was written by our Carlton Senior Living San Jose community memory care residents. Upon viewing the painting several residents felt that it symbolized for them a reminder that they were unable to have a fancy occasion such as “The Ball” for their wedding celebration. The more they shared about this the easier it became to see their vision for the creation. They simulated their “dream wedding” complete with a sky blue ceiling, chandeliers, tables adorned with fancy flowers and beautiful dresses.

Over the course of five weeks they created all aspects of the “dream wedding”, truly setting the scene for the big party/wedding to come!


For the first week they created, using a tie-dye technique, a beautiful sky blue ceiling.





For the second week they hand crafted flowers to adorn the walls of their scene.






For the third week they strung beautiful beading and jewels to create a chandelier to hang in place over the fancy table.







For the fourth week they focused on hair and makeup preparations. Selecting the perfect bouquet to hold and which fancy dress they would wear to attend. Our Bride wore her original wedding dress, per her request.




Thank you for all of the wonderful submissions and content that was provided individually by the residents and staff of our memory care communities.