Learning through an arts residency
A studio art major, Amanda Modelski ’21 took an arts internship/residency with Kendal at Granville, a nearby senior living facility with deep ties to Denison and a strong appreciation for the arts.
Amanda shares her experience.
I treasure the relationships I have made at Kendal. Through sharing my interests in visual art, music, and writing, I have been able to make connections with residents that transcend generational difference. I have engaged with my new Kendal friends in both large group events and individual meet-ups.
One service I have enjoyed has been reading for people upon request. I have been asked to read everything from the monthly newsletter to history books. Through these reading sessions I expanded my understanding of the world, and I got to know the residents on a one-to-one basis. The reading sessions often turned into long chats, literature discussions, and shared lunches.
I also have been drawing portraits for residents. I often receive a picture from someone with a request to draw. As I listen to the stories behind each picture, our relationships deepen. My artwork becomes a physical gift. Hearing that it makes them happy is the best part of the experience.
A life-long interest of mine is aviation, so I have especially enjoyed meetings with former pilots, and working with them to create memoirs of their flying experiences. Being able to hear the stories has been remarkable and a privilege.
I have developed a sense of confidence during presentations and performances, thanks to residents’ encouragement. I have presented on a variety of topics, from writing poetry to teaching a portrait-sketching class. From evaluations and written suggestions I have been able to take feedback into account and fine-tune future presentations. Because of the positive experiences I have had in performing and presenting to residents, I have been able to feel more comfortable on stage, and always look forward to sharing my projects with everyone.
One of the best parts about working at Kendal has been simply living at Kendal. The peaceful surroundings create a relaxing and comfortable experience. Visiting residents for dinner at their homes, enjoying spontaneous conversations, and sharing stories together has made my experience at Kendal a happy one.
When speaking about Kendal to family and friends, I have only good things to say about the environment and energy of the space I am living in. The community has been warm and welcoming, and I look forward to visiting the friends here that I have made, even after my residency is over.