Lawrence student uses art to show "Beauty of Aging"

"The Beauty of Aging" (WLUK/Mike Moon)

A Lawrence University student is turning her volunteer work into art. The college senior has painted dozens of portraits of residents at an area nursing home.

Friday night some of those paintings were revealed in an exhibition called "The Beauty of Aging."

It's said a picture's worth a thousand words and Samantha Knott has a lot to say about the people who inspired the portraits in "The Beauty of Aging."

"The way they can live life so beautifully even in the midst of diseases like Alzheimer's and dementia," she told FOX 11.

The Lawrence University Senior started a 'GlamourGals' chapter at her school. It's part of a national organization that encourages young women to bond with senior citizens.

Knott and other students volunteer at Brewster Village, a nursing home in Appleton.

"We paint their nails, we provide makeovers and we also just sit with them and play games with them and do other activities they enjoy," she explained.

Knott created the artworks in this exhibition using different materials to represent each personality.

"A lot of the materials are reused, recycled, weathered, aged and a I thought that added a really nice aspect," she told us.

Knott said this project is about more than just making nice pictures. She says she hopes viewers take away a deeper message.

"My goal is to break the stigma that the elderly are merely weak or not worthy of our time. They are worthy of our time. They are beautiful and I really want people to just appreciate that," she explained.

Knott told FOX 11 she's already given some of the Brewster residents their portraits. Those in the exhibition will get theirs eventually.

"Whenever I'm there they come find me and tell me how thankful they are," she said.

And Knott told us she hopes visitors are thankful for the message she's trying to send.

"Maybe it'll remind them of their grandma or grandpa that passed away or their grandma or grandpa in the nursing home and maybe it'll initiate them or motivate them to go out and volunteer or spend more time with them," she said.

The portraits will be on display at Lawrence's library through January 18th.

Some of the art will also be on display at ACOCA Coffee in Appleton through the month of April and Knott is planning to do an exhibition at Brewster Village sometime in spring.

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