St. Mary’s University Partnership Expanding

United’s partnership with St. Mary’s University (SMU) is planning expansion to provide greater benefit to students and United’s residents.

“Having St. Mary’s University as a neighbour to Fish Creek is a unique opportunity and that offers many possibilities for residents,” said United’s music director Jill LaForty, who also oversees United’s unique partnerships. “Before the pandemic, concert outings to the SMU Choir were one of the most looked-forward-to events at Fish Creek. Now the partnership is expanding to include the Art History Department, hopefully the drama department, and possibly teaming with SMU on research related to aging.”
St. Mary's University professor, Dr. Thérèse Boyle
St. Mary’s University professor, Dr. Thérèse Boyle

Recently, art history lecturer Thérèse Boyle spoke to residents at both Garrison Green and Fish Creek about pop art, its origins in England and its influence on American art forms in the 1950s and 60s. “Pop was an art form that rejected what it saw was the ‘angst’ (the poetic inner world of the artist) of the post-war era, for the all-pervasiveness of pop culture,” explained Dr. Boyle. “It was an art that took everyday objects, consumer packaging and celebrities and elevated them to the level of fine art.”




Marilyn Monroe was a favourite subject for Andy Warhol
Marilyn Monroe was a favourite subject for Andy Warhol

Residents were impressed with the presentation. “I learned an awful lot about contemporary art,” said resident Ralph Brinkhurst. Hugh Balkwill said, “My image of pop art was just Andy Warhol but the presentation covered the evolution of it. It was very interesting.”

“It was a wonderful audience and their questions were very insightful,” said Dr. Boyle. “I really think United is onto something important with our partnership, which involves students and instructors connecting with the older adult residents. It’s a way for the generations to meet and discuss common interests, a way to strive for a community where the generations aren’t separate. There are no age boundaries. We were all young once and we are all getting older.”
“United has several wonderful working artists on staff who lead hands-on art projects and offer talks around a variety of subjects to residents,” said Jill. “Professor Boyle’s talk added a different dimension that complements what we are already doing. She brings an art historian’s eye to the table. That’s the beauty of the partnerships; being able to bring specific expertise into the community as further enrichment.”

Photos by United Active Living, Pixabay. Videos by Sherana Productions.

Don’t hesitate to talk with one of our active living advisors about life in a United community. They can arrange for a tour at your convenience. If you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community, send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a future visit. We are happy to help! 

To learn more about life at United’s Fish Creek community, watch this short video.

Or, to find out more about life at United’s Garrison Green, watch this short video.