SUCASA 2020 - Botanical Arts With Seniors During A Pandemic


This year has been very challenging. People are out of work, lives have been lost, and the emotional stress has taken a toll on many. No people have been more affected by the current times as our senior population.

The Exploration of Botanicals in Bronx Arts was supposed to be my last residency with Bronx Council on the Arts in 2020. It marked my final year in research for adult learning and arts curriculum development. This is a research project I had been working in for the last 8 years in alternative design learning. I have learned a lot in this process about how to apply my concepts of instructing my design theories to the Bronx community.

Leaf Printing at Leon Senior Center

Bronx seniors at the Leon Center in the Bronx learned how to leaf print using fresh botanical flowers and also learned how to make screen prints using crushed vegetables like Tumeric. 

Things were going great, then the pandemic hit!. New York was shut down swiftly and we had to go online. The issue was that the seniors have very little experience with technology. 
Using their smartphones is even an issue for most of our seniors. 

It was a struggle but we made it through to the end of our residency. The seniors even want to continue the program.

I didn't expect my final residency to be this packed filled with challenges but I learned so much about resilience and problem-solving. We all have gotten so much stronger from this experience and I am so thankful for this time working in my community and making a difference in my wonderful borough of the Bronx.