Ephrata High School students, who are members of the National Arts Honor Society (NAHS), recently completed a two-month art project that involved residents at Keystone Villa.
In October, students paired up with Keystone Villa residents to learn more about them and their fondest memories. Students prepared interview questions in advance to use if needed and enjoyed a half-hour conversation with the residents. The information gained from this meeting would inspire students to create artwork specifically for the residents. Following the initial visit, students then met as a group to discuss ways to depict the seniors’ stories and memories.
Students were given two months to create their works of art. “Each student has artistic strengths or media in which he or she specializes. It was up to the students to select an artistic media to create artwork that would surprise the residents,” explained Whitney Yeo, Ephrata High School art teacher and NAHS advisor. Some students continued to keep in touch with their new friends at Keystone Villa while they created their artwork, and many sent cards over their holiday break.
The group traveled back to Keystone Villa on January 8 to present the artwork to the residents. The students discussed why and how they made the pieces. There was a wide variety of artwork, each unique and personalized to the residents.
- A few students created landscapes inspired by stories of memorable travels.
- Some students traveled to obtain photographs of shorelines or a favorite animal.
- One student was moved by a treasured keepsake. The resident she met wears a necklace with a fingerprint of her deceased husband. She shared that the necklace “has become so precious now that he has passed away.” The student’s artwork featured a fingerprint painting in his memory.
“Overall, it was a diverse body of work, and each student left feeling incredibly proud of how well the work was received and the level of gratification the residents expressed,” said Mrs. Yeo. She expects many students will continue to keep in touch and noted that two students are applying to work at Keystone Villa because of the experience.