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Wildwood Art Club Students Bring Smiles to Residents of Brooking Park

April 17, 2013

Photo of student hanging painting on a wall  
Wildwood art student Kevin Bullock hangs one
of his paintings at Brooking Park.

The Wildwood Art Club recently launched a gallery program that enables businesses in the community to borrow the artwork created by club members and display it in their spaces.

The program has been well received, and several pieces have already been installed at area businesses. But the largest installation to date has been at Brooking Park, a continuing care retirement community on South Woods Mill Road in Chesterfield. Members of the club recently installed an entire gallery of artwork for the residents to enjoy.

Tatjana Pilakovic, one of the staff members there, explained that the art club approached her at exactly the right time. They had been working with another group to bring art to the facility, but that arrangement had just ended.

“I was pulling anything and everything I could find to put up on the walls,” said Pilakovik. “And then Kim [Kordonowy] from the art club walked in. It was such a busy day, but I ended up spending a lot of time with her. She was so lovely and I was blessed with her.”

The art is in the new Memory Care House where Brooking Park holds a family support meeting for people with Alzheimer's.

“I use that room there because there is lots to talk about,” said Pilakovic. “We just start sitting in there, and then they get up and start talking. The art is big enough to see, and they love the bright colors. I have never seen the residents have so many words to use to say something.”

Not all the residents like all the paintings, but they do evoke a response.

“Sometimes I think some of the paintings bring up an emotion from a memory, but the residents can’t always connect those things,” Pilakovic said. "I think it’s a great collaboration. There is nothing worse than making something and not being able to share it.”

The art students have promised to go back during the summer to exchange the paintings that are there with new ones. But Pilakovic will not be the one who chooses which ones will go up.

“I can’t pick. I love them all,” she said.