Students and Seniors Collaborate to Tell Life Stories through Art
Graduate students from Nazareth College and residents from St. Ann’s Community have been collaborating for the last several months on an art therapy project. The end result? Residents telling their life stories through various artistic mediums.
Students from Nazareth College’s Creative Arts Therapy graduate program are required to gain hands-on experience by working with members of the community. The goal is to have students hone their therapy skills by working in a real-life setting, while the residents benefit from receiving companionship and interaction from the students.
The students were each paired up with a resident. The pairs met at least 10 times throughout the semester so the students could learn about the residents and their life stories. The culmination of the project resulted in artwork in mediums including photography, paint, drawing, and collage. Each piece tells a story about the resident, ranging from one’s experience as a tail gunner in World War II, another’s Irish heritage and fondness for the Cliffs of Moher, to another’s ancestry and family history.
The project helps the graduate students qualify for their Licensed Creative Arts Therapist credential (LCAT) and to graduate with their Master of Science in Creative Arts Therapy with a deeper understanding of another generation.