West Valley View, Avondale, Arizona, Friday, June 3, 2011
View photo by Michael Clawson
ACE AND BLANCHE KEYES point out their favorite parts of paintings given to them by Verrado High School students at their home at La Loma Village in
Litchfield Park. High school artists visited with the Keyes and then painted pictures based on their interests.
Paintings tell life stories of La Loma residents
by Emily McCann staff writer
sand words, but one collection of artwork by students at Verrado High School tells entire life stories.
Last month, 60 students were assigned to interview residents at La Loma Village in Litchfield Park, a Sun Health Life Care Community. The project was for an art class taught by Verrado teacher Travis Waldron. “I wanted the students to make a real
People often say a picture is worth a thou-
Loma,” he said. “Not all of them have a lot of elderly people in their lives that they get to see, so I just wanted them to make that connection with someone and get their viewpoint.”
who was interested in genealogy, so he painted her a family tree with blank boxes so she could write in her family members’ names. “It gave us a little insight on some of their
world connection and this was the perfect project,” Waldron said “The students seemed to gain perspective on life and history and really enjoyed visiting with the residents of La Loma.”
The students talked with the elderly residents and then took the knowledge they gained from the interviews back to the class- room and visually interpreted the residents’ life experiences into art. What was supposed to be a 20-minute
interview turned into almost two hours, and Waldron had to pull the students away, he said.
“I was incredibly pleased with how respectful they were to the residents of La
lives, and it was fun to do a painting about them,” he said. “It’s important to not forget where you came from and how far we’ve come.” Fellow student Joanna Carrasco, 16, echoed his sentiments. She interviewed a man who had lived through the Cold War and whose family didn’t have much, she said.
Cody Hodges, 16, interviewed a woman
were given several pieces of artwork. As the students gave their paintings to the couple, they explained what they represented. Ace’s pieces mainly depicted his passion for golf.
are very dedicated to having a successful life and I’m pleased they returned with such beautiful art,” he said. Ace also showed the students his autobiography book and talked about his Army career. But what the teens were most impressed by was the length of the couple’s marriage, Blanche said. “They were absolutely floored, because
“It influenced me a lot, because it got me more into wanting to paint,” Joanna said. “They’ve been through a lot and that made me think that what I have right now, I should be grateful for.”
The students went back to La Loma May 19 to present the images. Ace and Blanche Keyes were among those who
we’ve been married 69 years in June,” she said. “It seemed like most of their questions were about that, because they couldn’t believe it. They asked very intelligent questions, like what kept our marriage going?”
Keyes,” Verrado student Brittnae McGee said. “They are inspirational and opened my mind about life and relationships.”
Emily McCann can be reached by email at email@example.com
“I learned a lot from Mr. and Mrs. View photo by Michael Clawson
A PAINTING by a Verrado High School student depicts Ace Keyes’ love of golf.
“I’m impressed with the students. They
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