Artwork is created to show us the ways to look at the world and everything around us differently. Today I had the pleasure of meeting an amazing artist named Kayla Workman. She is currently a student at Cal State Long Beach majoring in art education. Kayla Workman is a Los Angeles based artist who was involved in an art show called “Cross-cultural and Community-based Practices in Art” that took place in the Marilyn Werby Gallery. The artworks in that gallery were a result of collaborations between art education students and three community organizations: Arts and Services for the Disabled, Acacia Adult Day Services, and NCADD- Woman to Woman. The artwork in this gallery are very unique and interesting because it was created by the elderly in the organizations who may or may not have had any artistic skills prior to these projects.
The art pieces in this gallery were all beautiful and each had their own unique story to tell. Of all the artwork, I was specifically drawn towards one that I thought I made a strong connection with. The project was titled “Polaroid Film series no. 1”, created in 2015 by two art education students and NCADD- Woman to Woman. The project was displayed by nine blank canvas attached by two Polaroid films each. This project was a series of Polaroid films taken to capture everyday life of the individuals living inside the recovery home. In the description of this series it was a way to reflect the dreams, desires, and wishes that those inspiring women had in hopes for a full and brighter future.
Workman was inspired to work with seniors because she witnessed the effect Alzheimer’s Disease had on the loved ones around her. A lot of the art education and experience is based off of the grades K-12. Workman thought it was necessary to branch off into a nontraditional method of sharing her art with everyone. She wanted to work with seniors to show them her different experiences. She designed and created the projects by the experiences she has gained through her education of many different art classes. She envisioned the new projects by the older projects she has done, so this project she worked on with the senior was relating them to their past experiences. One of the main focuses she concentrated on was the issues of identity because the individuals affected by Alzheimer’s were trying to find themselves again.
The artwork was displayed gracefully in such a simplistic way. With the white border and background, the focus was on the stories the photos were trying to tell us. I was taken by surprise because this was the first time I have ever seen artwork portrayed by Polaroids. Workman was able to portray the people affected my Alzheimer’s through photos that spoke a million words to the audience. People take the little details in life for granted, like something as simple as putting on your shoes or even doing the laundry. Workman was able to take part in such an amazing project to give back to those who may have lost everything: themselves. Although there were many different art projects in this gallery I felt that I had a greater connection to Polaroid Film serious no.1 because it’s unique and simple. From talking to Workman and getting to know her, I can tell her heart is in the right place.
Kayla Workman’s Contact Information: