Residents of the Willowbrook Rehabilitation and Care Center now have a piece of art to make their home a little more beautiful.
Forbush High School art teacher Leslie Davis and ninth grade student Jamie Caselles worked together to create a wall mural that captured the essence of life in Yadkin County.
Davis received a call in the fall semester asking if she had any students who would be interested in working on the project. Davis said that several of her students were interested but ended up being unable to participate due to scheduling conflicts so she decided to do the mural herself.
“As a community service project I felt it was only right to complete the promise and follow through on what we agreed to do,” Davis said. “I didn’t feel like there was any other option there.”
Davis was able to find one student who was willing to take the journey with her. Caselles, a freshman, agreed to devote her after-school time to making sure the project came to fruition.
“I had to come up with a preliminary sketch based on what the people at the Willowbrook Care Center had requested,” Davis said. “They gave an idea in words and so I did a sketch, took it to them and they liked it and so then I told them what color paints I needed and gathered brushes.”
After Davis got approval on the image she sketched it on the wall she and Caselles were ready to paint. Caselles put in roughly 10 and a half hours of work into the project while Davis devoted 20 to 25 hours of her time.
They went to the center two to three days a week after school, spending two to three hours each day working on it.
“It was really fun,” Caselles said. “I got to learn different techniques for art.”
Davis said that she learned a lot from the project as well.
“I learned that I underestimate what my students have to do with their time and taking on a project that big is always a large commitment,” Davis said. “I also learned how working in different spaces was different from doing a large project within the school because the environment is different.”
Davis said that this experience has allowed Caselles an opportunity to jump ahead in her art training and that she will no be better prepared for her sophomore year Art 2 course.
“I want to be a veterinarian and so I also want to learn to paint different textures in fur so this experience helped me learn some of those,” Caselles said. “I want to combine those careers one day.”
Davis says that even though only one student was involved with this project, the community needs to know how much potential Forbush High School art students are harboring.
Davis also feels it’s important that the family members of the residents of Willowbrook make a visit and take a look at the wall to see what the duo’s hard work has accomplished.
“Knowing the impact that art has on the residents there, especially in that particular ward, where a lot of them have issues with memory… it brings back memories of things that they’ve done in their lives,” Davis said. “It really does spark something in them conversation wise and memory wise. It’s a good thing, they enjoy it and you can tell that when they watched us create it.”
Reach Lindsay Craven at 679-2341 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.