Thursday, October 31, 2013

Artist Sargam Griffin Helping Transform Stairways Empowered Living Facility in Chico, California

Artist Sargam Griffin Helping Transform Stairways Empowered Living Facility

Founder, Executive Director Mike Little announces makeover of his site by California painter and design
This summer, with temperatures hovering at 100 degrees in Chico, California, well-known artist Sargam Griffin was looking at paint samples and getting her hands dirty. This time, however, instead of preparing to create one of the lyrical abstract paintings she is so famous for, she was readying to commence her newest endeavor: a design vision for Stairways Empowered Living, owned and operated by Founder, Executive Director Mike Little. 

Griffin had agreed to become a consultant to Little’s company a few months earlier and would focus on a new ‘look’ for the site working in tandem with Little and the residents. “We couldn't believe our good fortune that Sargam Griffin agreed to help us. The residents here were overjoyed to find out that the place they called 'home' was going to undergo a makeover," stated Mike Little.

Little had been introduced to the art and design of Sonoma County-based artist Sargam Griffin when Sargam suggested to Little that she would like to make few design improvements to his cooperative living facility in Chico, working as a consultant. Little approved and soon Sargam Griffin started with lots of help-and input-from the residents.” I wanted my site to be pleasing to the residents, staff, and visitors. It needed some cosmetic treatment that we had not been able to do," Mike Little added.

Griffin is a well-known, internationally collected artist. She also has a very strong design and architecture background and could immediately see how to implement a few changes at Little's facility that would improve it immensely. She picked out colors for the exterior and interior of the buildings and made recommendations for materials to use for awnings, gutters. She also helped the residents with the redesign and the creation of a 40" by 60" painting.

The residents were very involved in the transformation of their facility and even created a sign in German saying "Willkommen" for the artist. Sargam, originally from Germany, was being given a big "Welcome" written in her native language. This sign touched her immensely. "This is exactly why I do work in the community. I get so much love and feelings of welcome. Art is what I can share and I was thrilled to be involved in this special project. I am very glad Mike Little found my work and agreed to have me make some improvements to his site." 

After nearly four weeks, this initial phase of the remodel was complete. Everyone-from staff to residents-were amazed how Sargam had made their facility more attractive. Mike Little agreed, "Sargam was a miracle and she accomplished a miracle. Her generosity of spirit and artistic talents really made our facility a better place. We are having her return to do more projects." Griffin also informed Little that she would like to initiate an art project with the residents in the near future. An art exhibit by Griffin is being installed in October. 
Little stated: "Griffin's vision meshes perfectly with that of our company-plus the residents love her. The site changes we plan on doing will take a year or so to complete, this is a real work-in-progress. We all are pleased Sargam is now part of our team.”

About Mike Little: Before launching Stairways in April 2000, Mike Little worked in Silicon Valley as an organizational consultant for Fortune 500 companies with an emphasis on marketing and process re-engineering. Little’s partner and mentor, Bud Seith, had been the CEO of Xerox before retiring. Mike worked with him for 19 years and the most impactful lesson he learned from him was that everyone has a "Natural Genius", something they do exceptionally well without much thought. Mike Little has found that focusing on identifying, articulating, and leading residents at his facility to discover and express their "Natural Genius" by providing an environment that allows them to do so, has been the reason his residents tend to do so well.

For more information, please contact Mr. Mike Little at 530-893-4083. He is available for site tours by appointment, photo opportunities, and interviews.

For complete bio, CV, and resume for artist Sargam Griffin, please visit her website:

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