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October 16, 2018

Student Makes Art Program Fun, Educational for Bishop’s Commons Residents


OSWEGO – For the past semester, SUNY Oswego senior Tara Kilkelly has been interning and sharing her time and talents by leading weekly classes in the Art Studio at Bishop’s Commons Enriched Housing Residence.

Bishop’s Commons residents Sylvia Proano (left) and Ruby Petrie (right) are seen working on their paintings with some creative input from SUNY Oswego student intern Tara Kilkelly. Residents have been participating in an “Exploring Art” program with volunteers and students from SUNY Oswego.

Bishop’s Commons residents Sylvia Proano (left) and Ruby Petrie (right) are seen working on their paintings with some creative input from SUNY Oswego student intern Tara Kilkelly. Residents have been participating in an “Exploring Art” program with volunteers and students from SUNY Oswego.

The “Exploring Art” program lets residents participate in a variety of drawing mediums including pencil, charcoal, water color and acrylic paint, under the helpful direction of instructors like Kilkelly.

For Kilkelly, who is graduating from SUNY Oswego and who will soon begin pursing a Master’s Degree at SUNY Stony Brook, helping to guide the resident enthusiasts in basic art techniques has been a rewarding experience.

“Leading this class and working with older adults has been a great experience for me,” said Kilkelly. “I feel that teaching the art class at Bishop’s Commons, I really had a chance to impact the lives of the residents. Each week they were so excited to see what I had planned for them that day, and seeing their happiness really made my day. It feels so great to know that even the littlest things can make others so happy.”

What made the experience even more positive, Kilkelly said, was the chance to get to know each participant.

“I was able to form friendships with many of the residents who took part, and we all had fun along the way. I love art so much and I am so thankful for the opportunity to spread this love with the residents of Bishop’s Commons,” she said.

“The relationship with our student volunteers, who have been an important part of our ‘Exploring Art’ program, has given our residents and great opportunity to come and discover a new talent or interest,” said Cheryl Cullinan, director of activities at Bishop’s Commons. “Students from SUNY Oswego like Tara have been a critical part to our program’s success. They share their enthusiasm, interest, and their talents with our residents, not to mention the comradery that develops throughout the year.”

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