The Village at Penn State’s Art Wall, has remained a constant source of enchantment and delight for residents. Organized by The Village’s Art Committee, the Art Wall displays items donated by residents. As residents, staff, and visitors walk through the hallway connecting the common area with the east portion of the building, they admire the carefully and artfully arranged items on the Art Wall.
“We have had so many interesting themes,” says Hazel F., a resident and former committee chair. Past themes included souvenirs from world travel, including a map of the world with stick pins representing every place someone had visited, and baby photos.
This year, the Art Committee named two new committee chairs after Hazel decided to transition away from leadership. Caroline and Paul, a married couple who had recently joined the committee, were happy to take on the role.
The committee gathers every three months to plan the new theme. The process is creatively fun and challenging as they work together to select the theme and then arrange five or six different wall sections to determine what looks best and which items complement other items.
We needed big, bright, brilliant color!Caroline, co-committee chair of The Village at Penn State’s Art Committee
On a cold, gray, late winter day, the committee chose “Color Our World”for the Art Wall theme. “We needed big, bright, brilliant color,” Caroline shares.
For The Village at Penn State’s “Color Our World” Art Wall, the committee asked for residents’ most colorful items. Residents loaned them homemade things or things they collected over the years, including colorful dresses, paintings, crafts, a bright red Elmo beach towel, neckties and older, and weirdly colored items from the 1960s and 1970s. “Those years were fertile ground for weird colors,” Paul comments.
“The committee members agreed it was pretty spectacular by the time we hung everything up,” shares Paul. People enjoy reading about the history of displayed items. Those histories become conversation starters.
Involving everyone is important for Caroline and Paul. “We wanted to get as many people involved as possible,” Paul relates. At the suggestion of resident Jim T., three foam poster boards were mounted to encourage residents to write messages or scribble a drawing.
“People put all kinds of different messages on the canvas. Unfortunately, one of our residents passed away during the time the boards were up, and somebody wrote a beautiful poem about him, which was really just perfect,” Paul reflects.
“It’s a village experience,” Caroline adds, “Everybody gets involved one way or another. That’s how we like to keep it!”