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September 21, 2018

Bishop’s Commons Art Program Is a Learning Experience for Student and Teacher Alike


OSWEGO – A chance to put her talent to work while volunteering was an opportunity Allison Williams couldn’t pass up.

Bishop’s Commons resident Sophie Pinko (left) works on a painting with some creative input from volunteer Allison Williams. Residents have been participating in an “Exploring Art” program with volunteers and students from SUNY Oswego.

Bishop’s Commons resident Sophie Pinko (left) works on a painting with some creative input from volunteer Allison Williams. Residents have been participating in an “Exploring Art” program with volunteers and students from SUNY Oswego.

For the past year, Williams has been volunteering her time and talents by leading the weekly classes in the Art Studio at Bishop’s Commons Enriched Living Residence.

The Exploring Art program lets residents participate in a variety of drawing mediums including pencil, charcoal, water color and acrylic paint.

For Williams, who recently graduated from SUNY Oswego and who will soon begin pursing a Master’s Degree in Creative Arts Therapy at Nazareth College, providing enthusiasts with instruction in basic drawing techniques has been a rewarding experience; one that she hopes will help her in the future.

“Leading this class and working with older adults has been a real joy,” said Williams. “I feel like I have extended my abilities as an instructor and am confident this practical experience will help me in my graduate studies. Not to mention the friendships I have developed with many of my students, and the fun we have had along the way.”

“All you need is an interest to learn or try something new,” Williams added. “The rest takes care of itself. We have residents ranging from the fairly accomplished to the novice. The one thing everyone seems to have in common is the pleasure they receive from creating something new.”

For Bishop’s Commons residents, the art program has been equally rewarding.

“I find the process so relaxing,” said Sophie Pinko, who is enjoying the class as someone who is new to art.

“The relationship with our volunteers who have participated in our Exploring Art program has given our residents an opportunity to develop a new talent or interest,” said Cheryl Cullinan, director of activities at Bishop’s Commons. “The volunteer students we have had the pleasure of working with share their enthusiasm, interest, and there artistic talents with our folks; many of whom have found joy in trying something new.”

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