Arts & Culture

OU alumni create peaceful painting for senior living community

Oglethorpe alumni Dauren Parker ’21 and Muskaan Bhukhanwala ’21 were recently commissioned by Canterbury Court — a senior living community just down the road from the university — to create a large-scale painting that would cover the sheetrock that blocked the view of the outdoor space as the facility underwent construction.

Two Oglethorpe students paint a mural at Canterbury Court

Hoping to bring a sense of calmness and familiarity to the facility, the recent grads chose to depict the community gardens and gazebo that are beloved by the residents at Canterbury. Much of the outdoor garden space, however, was rendered inaccessible during the renovations. A “happy spot” for the large community, which contains plenty of avid garden enthusiasts, the gazebo area was a sorely-missed locale for meet-ups and fresh air.

When construction efforts began at the senior living community, Canterbury’s Resident Services Director Rebecca Oleson worked with the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art’s Curator of Collections John Daniel Tilforda frequent collaborator with Canterbury — to commission Oglethorpe students to complete this community-oriented project. Parker, a biology major, and Bhukhanwala, a studio art major, were recommended for the job by university faculty. Canterbury Court provided the two artists with supplies and paid them for their time.

The two artists worked intermittently for several months to create the painting, finishing the project in early March. Now, with construction at the community drawing to a close, the finished painting will permanently hang in Canterbury’s library.

Bhukhanwala plans to attend graduate school in graphic design, while Parker plans to enter the medical sales field. In 2020, Parker competed in the second-ever “Shark Tank”-style entrepreneur competition with his original business idea, “Pitty Proof” — a series of “indestructible” dog toys — and was one of two winning pitches that year, earning him and his partner $2000 in seed money.

Students Dauren Parker and Muskaan Bhukhanwala pose by their completed portrait at Canterbury Court

Parker (left) and Bhukhanwala (right) pose in front of their completed painting.

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