On October 10, 2018 Maryann Kudelka a newly resident at Willow Grove Senior Living, put on an art show.
Willow Grove Matthews is a community located at 10043 Idlewild Rd, “just beyond the beauty of Idlewild Road Park, minutes from Charlotte. It is a friendly place where everybody knows your name. Chef-prepared meals are enjoyed as a community and the grounds are perfect for exploring with your dog. Whether unwinding in the media room, reading on the patio or gathered for coffee in the lounge, seniors living there can make lasting friendship. The social calendar features bingo, live music, billiards, bridge” and, when the occasion rises, an art show.
At 82 years old, Maryann Kudelka moved in the beautiful place only 3 months ago, and brought with her a lifetime-collection of art and crafts. She moved in North Carolina with her family, after retiring. Her development as a creative person started early in life. She graduated from Commercial Art School, and was employed at United Airline in Chicago to use her skills in creating various brochures. Throughout her life she created numerous pieces using different mediums, embracing the art of painting, drawing, the fiber arts and more. For 18 years she has been part of the International Art Group-online.
The art show at Willow Grove was titled “Maryann Art Stuff”. Maryann explained that she displayed items that represented her life, her creations through the years, basically all her stuff.” There are afghans, quilts, clothing items, necklaces, paintings, baby clothes done for my daughter – and now she is past 40 years old” Maryann described. The Activity Room was filled with memorabilia, all representing her creative spirit . Many items were also displayed throughout the building to brighten everyone’s days, and inspire some to pursue the art and crafts as a fulfilling endeavor in their life. “There is already art all over the building, beautiful and inspiring”, Maryann said, “but I wanted to show people how to use imagination, creativity to be active and not give up.”
The residents were intrigued by the multitude of objects of art and handmade creations, from paintings to fiber-arts (knitted or crocheted). Maryann said she was really amused by one in particular who kept saying “and you did all this?” while looking around, and discovering more and more stuff. She also said “There is a painting of my cat Gypsy daydreaming of going out on the porch, and one done while I was daydreaming looking at the palm trees and the beach. Artist itself is an adjective other people give you. I consider myself a creative person, somebody that utilizes a variety of mediums to produce what it may be considered art.”
A well-deserved recognition should go to her daughter Stacy; she helped with the event by bringing items from her house, and sorting those her mom already had. Also the senior residential used a great deal of creation by turning chairs into easels, to elevate and produce drama while displaying Maryann’s art.
At Willow Grove community, Maryann was not only recognized as an artist of many talents, but also for her service in the Air force; she is the only female veteran to have her picture displayed among the veterans living there.