WINTER PARK, Fla. – Residents of The Gardens at DePugh, a Winter Park rehabilitation and skilled nursing facility, recently partnered with Valencia College students in a collaborative art project that explores the nature of human memory.
A group of 28 students from Professor Val Woldman’s humanities course interviewed 10 residents about their favorite recollections. The students then chose one or two concepts that emerged from each conversation and depicted them as images on puzzle pieces. Finally, the class worked together to coordinate and contrast colors and images, assembling the pieces into a unified work of art.
The resulting mural, titled “Assemblage of Memory,” is on display at The Gardens. It features pictures of beloved places, professions and pastimes – such as a beach scene, the Eiffel Tower, a nurse’s uniform, a piano and childhood pets.
Some sections include overlapping images, rough edges or visible gaps to reflect the imperfect process of assembling pieces of memory, according to Woldman.
“Talking to the residents made me realize they had lived to see and experience a lot more than I thought,” one student said of the project. “Their stories were so interesting.”
“The interviews offered residents an intimate, meaningful way to not only recall joyful moments from their lives, but also to share them with a younger generation,” said Tammy Chandler, activities director at The Gardens. “And now, these memories are being preserved through a work of art that honors their experiences.”