Collaborative workshops break isolation and result in community exhibition, ‘Zammesei’

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Friday, April 2nd, 2021

Months upon months of pandemic restrictions can take a toll on anyone — especially a community that thrives on interaction, on collaboration, and on opportunities to learn and discover.

The College’s Center for Creative Exploration partnered with a local senior living community to figure out how to bridge that isolation. The result is a new exhibition, Zammesei.

The exhibition’s tagline, Bringing the Lancaster Community Together Through the Arts, pretty much says it all. CCE worked with Garden Spot Village in New Holland to outline several CCE online Winter workshops that would be of interest to Garden Spot Village residents. Spots in those workshops were then reserved for GSV residents to take, free of charge, alongside members of the general public: all they had to do was log on to a computer and click the class.

Zammesei: Bringing the Lancaster Community Together Through the Arts

April 1-30

Online at https://pcad.edu/exhibits_beyond/

In person (to the Garden Spot Village Community only) at Garden Spot Village gallery, 433 S. Kinzer Ave., New Holland


Some of the work that resulted from those workshops in watercolor, collage, Notan design, poetry, and automatic drawing, along with works from other CCE classes, has been compiled in Zammesei by curator Aidan Thackray, a junior Illustration major. Though the classes were online, the connections that could be built, and the art that results, are all real. Zammesei became a celebration of art’s intrinsic ability to bring people together.

“Togetherness during a global pandemic is in short supply,” Thackray says. “The concept of ‘zammesei’ (which means ‘to be together’ in Pennsylvania Dutch) lies at the heart of this exhibition and stems from the rich traditions of this region.”

And for Thackray, who balances her classwork with a job as a Life Enrichment Aide at a different senior living facility, the experience has been a rewarding one. It has, she says in the exhibition’s online publication, “helped me realize just how strong and adaptive our community has been during a time of such uncertainty … it’s definitely made me feel a closeness to the community that I’ve never had before.”


headshot of Aidan Thackray '22, Illustration

“Zammesei” curator Aidan Thackray ’22, Illustration.

Can you, in a nutshell, outline everything you’ve been responsible for in this exhibition?

AT: I was responsible for the exhibition title and refining the concept, designing the exhibition branding, designing the digital exhibition booklet, and completing the in-person gallery installation. 

Was all of this a new experience for you?
AT: Being part of CORE Gallery’s Curatorial Board and previous experience doing special projects for the Main Gallery really gave me a good jumping-off point for this exhibition, but it was definitely a new experience for me! 
Did the location, in a retirement community, have any special meaning to you? I know you have a job at a different community as well as attending school… 
AT: I work as a Life Enrichment Aide at a different senior living facility in Lancaster County, and working there during a pandemic really emphasized for me just how important getting together as a community really is for people during this time. 
What was one of the major challenges of this project?
AT: One major challenge I think for this project and for most things this past year is still adjusting to the online aspects of curating an exhibition, but even though this is still a challenge a lot of us face, I think we have an amazing show to share with the community.
What was something that was especially rewarding about it?
AT: The most rewarding thing about this experience is getting to see all of the artwork of the community come together in one place!
How did you first get involved with this project?
AT: Alana (Coates, PCA&D Director of Exhibitions) knew me through my work for the PCA&D CORE Gallery and PCA&D Main Gallery, and also knew that I was working at a senior living facility. So she suggested it, and I was so excited to get started!




Artists exhibiting in “Zammesei” include Hannah Bost, Lindsey Cammauf, Matt Chapman, Erin Dorney, Donna Felton, Noelle Fortna, Eva Gallagher, Bertha Hawk, Evelyn Hershey, Le Hinton, Angie Hohenadel, Doreen Jacoby, Michael Kelchner, Lia Lindemuth, Nichole Madonna, Connie McKane, Donna Milton, Joann Monk, and Barbara Strasko.