MILWAUKEE - They are one of the most vulnerable groups affected by COVID-19. The coronavirus hitting the senior living community hard. But just as some local residents received their vaccines, they began a project of reflection.
A stroll down the hall at Eastcastle Place on the city's east side lets you walk in the life of the seniors living here. Emotions are shared with a project called Lessons Learned from COVID.
"Just the different aspects of dealing with it that everybody has had," Judye Frankowiak said. "We were having fun and being creative."
Artwork expressed happiness, hardship and even humor.
Frankowiak used to be a museum artist and got through her days during the pandemic by swimming.
"It gets us out of our moods," she said.
UWM grad student Jessica Mendez is an artist in residence here.
"I said, people over politics," said Mendez.
And she feels the project was a great outlet to note the gravity of the impact of COVID-19 while being uplifting and motivational.
"People had their own internal realizations and also the realization around the city, in general," Mendez said.
Colorful art during a dark time in our history.
"I was very glad I was here and not alone in my house by myself," Judye said.
Feelings of friendship, salvation and selflessness they believe make up the fabric of our community.
"People are hopeful for the future, they are really ready for life to open up and go back to how it was," she said.
The exhibit will be up for a couple of more weeks. The hope is for it to rotate to different communities and eventually be a keepsake of a tough time they were able to make it through.