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Life stories molded in clay: Seniors' artwork on display at library

Trinity Care Center residents spent time last month compressing their life stories onto clay tiles. The results will be on display this weekend.

The Art of Aging residency program, a collaboration of Trinity, the Dakota County Library and the Minnesota Creative Arts and Aging Network, sent professional artist Anne Krocak to Trinity during the week of Nov. 8 to work with care center residents on the project. Residents spent time talking about their lives, then either on their own or with the help of another artist gave their stories physical form on eight-inch by six-inch tiles.

"It was really very interesting," said Beve Preece, president of the Dakota Valley Arts Council and one of the artists who helped with the project." We had one resident, she's got alzheimers and she pretty much does not get involved with things (but) she got really into this and was drawing ... and doing more talking than I've ever heard from her."

When the tiles were done, Krocak took them home and fired them. Then, residents had a chance to paint the tiles before they were fired a final time.

Preece said learning about residents' life stories was fascinating.

"You just don't stop to realize what has happened to them," she said. "It's very interesting what comes out in the tiles and what they're proud of in their life."

Library manager Mary Scheide saw the residency as an opportunity to build new connections with Farmington's senior community. She's had contact with the nursing home since she came to Farmington two years ago, but she's still trying to spread the word about what the library has available, including a program for homebound residents.

Scheide was at the care center for two of Krocak's three visits, and she was excited about what she saw.

"I'm very excited to have them on display," she said. The tiles will be on display from 11 a.m. to noon Dec. 4 at the library. At the same time, the library will play host to the DVAC's annual holiday show from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The library is located at 508 Third St. For more information call 651-438-0250.

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

(651) 460-6606