Maury “Seniors” Solidify Lasting Friendships with Community Seniors through Personal Art Exchange

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I tell ya what. There are many perks of being a Maury Cougar, especially an upperclassman. For example, our Maury “seniors,” or big kids on campus, have the opportunity to participate in Ski Club, attend Space Camp, audition for Mathademics, and serve as leaders by becoming Bravo Team members. Now, Maury 5th graders also have the privileged of being part of one of the most outstanding partnerships in the history of Maury Elementary. This fall, all Maury seniors participated in an exciting art exchange with the community seniors from Capitol Hill Village!

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For two weeks of art class, students in 5th grade met with fascinating members of Capitol Hill Village, a local organization dedicated to helping a diverse community of Capitol Hill residents age in place. Our partnership encouraged an inter-generational exchange, both personal and artistic, between old and young right here in our own neighborhood.

Seniors and students were divided into Wednesday and Friday meet-ups where interviews were conducted, games were played, stories swapped, jokes cracked, and portraits drawn. Our sessions were face to face, and designed to give Villagers and students an authentic way to connect in a deep and meaningful way with someone from a different generation. Bonds were forged instantly. Students became protective, if not possessive, of their Villager, holding secrets and stories from their partner’s past as treasures to be held dear. Youth and Elder alike both bonded over a love of Rock-n-Roll or pasta, a shared mischievous side, or a nostalgic smell from their past. Spontaneous singalongs meshed with impromptu dance parties as friendships were solidified among the walls of StudioMaury.

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Following our two in-person sessions, where personal narratives were shared and portrait drawing techniques practiced, artists young and younger went their separate ways in preparation for a grand art exchange in the shape of mirror portraits!

A mirror portrait is what happens when a stunning photograph of the subject’s face is cut in half and left for the artist to complete with pen and ink! Students and Villagers focused on symmetry, balance, contour line, value, and a special, subliminal incorporation of their partner’s personality. From cow manure to basement hideouts, these windows into the past create compelling artwork that feels both intimate and universal.

These works of art are perfect evidence for what results when love and meaning is infused into learning.

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A full display of finished work from both Villagers and Maury 5th graders will be on display at the Hill Center on January 20, 2018 at Gen Fest I from 2:30-5:30 pm.  A extended exhibition of the work will be on display at the Young Artist Gallery following the festival.  Please join us for an afternoon of fun and inter-generational learning with our partners at CHV!

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3 thoughts on “Maury “Seniors” Solidify Lasting Friendships with Community Seniors through Personal Art Exchange

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