Nestled in the mountains of East Tennessee sits the Regency, a quaint retirement community with varying levels of care. When I was 12, my Grandmother, Evelyn Heil, lived in this sweet community. I would race up to the third floor right in her room, 316. There, we would watch movies and eat chocolate as Grandma Heil and I shared many laughs. The Regency continues of have a special place in my heart because all the beautiful memories Grandma Heil and I shared there. My Grandma and I loved to talk about art, she started painting in her 50’s, and continued out till even now. I know how much it helped my Grandma, in her memory loss, to talk about things that are easier. For example, it is hard for my grandma, with her Dementia, to discuss politics, or current events, because she would get confused and feel bad about forgetting. But looking at art was a a great talking piece for us to connect over.
Well living in Columbus, I took an Art Business class called Artrepreneur. In the class, we labeled what things are important to us, besides our art, and how we can blend the two together. That’s when I got the idea to have an art show for the elderly, people who don’t get to go out to experience the joys of different galleries and upcoming artists.
So I framed 16 pieces, assembled a team of people to help me, and we set up a show in the main room at the retirement home. There I did a presentation on my methods of art making and related with these fellow art lovers. As the residents lit up, so did I as they shared what things they loved about the arts. Some of them picked up art when they retired, some of them had done it since they were young, well others just came for the show. From telling them all my tips and secrets I’d learned from different instructors and experiences to bonding over art history, the presentation wrapped up with too many hugs to count.
When I was 12, I never imagined that I’d be exhibiting artist, or that I’d do a show at Regency. I imagined being a spy, a pastor, or even the the president. In time, I found myself and who I want to be. Children bring a sense of light, joy, and creativity to the table that we as adults are constantly searching for, and in the same moment with age comes wisdom. The more we go through, the good and the bad, the more we understand. And I’m so thankful i got to connect with these wise souls through my show at the Regency.