Building relationships through art
This summer, Denison continued its relationship with Otterbein Granville SeniorLife Community for a fifth year, with two students living and working in the community creating programming centered around the arts.
Studio Art majors Isabelle Monyak ’24 and Abby Conturo ’25 spent the summer planning engaging activities for those living in the Granville-based senior community.
Monyak embraced the challenge of teaching for the first time and enjoyed the opportunity of having freedom to plan and execute programs.
Monyak instructed the community in a variety of art-centered activities for all skill levels, including a screening of the movie “Big Eyes,” followed by a workshop on how to draw eyes, something she enjoys drawing. She also took advantage of Otterbein’s proximity of Denison, bringing in singers to sing show tunes for the community.
Living at Otterbein full time, Monyak engaged with community members on a daily basis, forming strong connections. Through the process of making art, bonds were formed. “Some of my favorite memories from this internship were just sitting at the craft table with the participants, exchanging stories during art workshops, rather than making art itself,” she said.
Monyak also built valuable career skills as well as meaningful relationships with the residents. “This summer I learned a lot about myself and my art,” she shared. “This internship highlighted that the final product of art doesn’t necessarily need to be a masterpiece, but can be an experience along the way.”