Students from the Ringling College of Art and Design and participants from the Senior Friendship Center are bridging the generational gap through art. The students and elders spent the past month collaborating on different art projects as part of a Psychology of the Arts course taught by Ringling faculty member and art therapist, Poppy Terris.
Each student partnered with a Senior Friendship Center Participant to share their stories and learn from each other. The students began by composing a story or drawing, which their senior counterparts then re-interpreted with their own work of art.
One Senior Friendship Center Participant, Vivian Hicks, had an interesting take on a drawing of a baby chick shivering in the snow, with a dinosaur looming behind it.
Hicks countered the drawing, created by Ringling students Dan Bailey and Amy Hoffman, by re-creating the characters in a scene where the baby chick uses the snowy conditions to his advantage and hurls a snowball at the dinosaur.
For Senior Friendship Center Participant Lorraine Ury, the best part of the experience was the “joyfulness and the smiles.”
Her partner, Ringling student Marqin Cook, agreed with Ury. “We do smile a lot,” explained Cook.
The project culminated with a celebration on Thursday, Dec. 2, in the Brother Geenen Living Room at the Senior Friendship Center. The students presented the elders with a bound book of the drawings and stories they created together, as well as a sculpture of a hand symbolizing community outreach.
Contact Maria Amodio at [email protected].