NAHS Paints Nursing Home Residents’ Portraits

Gaby Alvarado, News Editor

Often isolated and unable to visit family, the elderly population has been hit hard by the pandemic. With limited face-to-face contact, many feel alone and disconnected. Hoping to bring positivity and to remind elders that they aren’t alone, Woodson’s National Art Honor Society has created artwork featuring residents of a nearby nursing home. 

Painting by Nina Cava.

In past years, NAHS took part in a similar project called the “Memory Project,” in which members painted portraits of refugee children from around the world. With COVID-19, however, members decided to keep their reach more local. A three-year member of NAHS, senior Nina Cava was happy with the decision to continue the project within the local community. “For the first time we may get to see the reactions and appreciation for our work,” said Nina.

NAHS President, senior Ariana Tackett, became inspired to lead the elderly project after watching a news segment on the impact COVID has had on senior citizens. “Our hope was that making homemade art would show them they aren’t alone through these incredibly tough times,” said Ariana.

 

Drawing by Sarah Schoenberger.

Upon receiving their artwork, the residents were overjoyed and appreciative. Many sent thank-you cards and conveyed the effect the project had on them. Full of gratitude, resident William Hall expressed his admiration for the drawing of him and his late wife. “I will cherish it forever and hang it up with pride,” said Hall. “She was the love of my life and I can feel the love we had for each other through the drawing.”

For the members of NAHS, the response from the residents and their families was touching and reminded them of the truly remarkable effect art can have on so many people. “It felt great to bring people joy especially with everything going on in the world today,” said NAHS member Dakota Brodnaik.

Painting by Dakota Brodnaik.

 

As the lead coordinator of the project, Ariana hopes this shows others the “power everyone holds to truly affect their local community,” as she encourages students to reach out to those around them.

NAHS plans to continue hosting projects that benefit the community in the coming months. Their next project will be dedicated to teachers and faculty as members will take requests from staff on photos they would like to see converted into paintings.