The “art of aging” took on new meaning for Molly Kraybill, a senior photography major from Lancaster, Pa., who photographed women ages 1-100 for her senior art show, “One Hundred.” The show premiered on April 20, 2013, in the Margaret Martin Gehman art gallery.
Kraybill traveled around campus and Harrisonburg taking photos of women in dorm rooms, nurseries and nursing homes. She gathered quotes from each participant, asking what they valued most about being at their age.
“Friends and church connections were the biggest help in finding participants,” said Kraybill. “I also resorted to emailing a neighborhood group to find women in the 60-70 age range.”
Kraybill noticed several themes develop as she went through the decades of women.
“Girls in the first decade of life were excited about simple joys, like writing their name, while women in their 20s and 30s talked about entering the real world and its possibilities,” said Kraybill. “What was interesting to me were the women in their 60s and 70s who felt they had more freedom and time for hobbies and family, something we don’t necessarily think of as we age.”
Brandy Clark, a junior from Woodstock, Va., said “As a college student finding my own way, it was interesting to see how people feel as they get older and further ‘find themselves’ and go through the stages of life,” in an interview with EMU’s student newspaper, The Weathervane, after viewing Kraybill’s project.
For Kraybill, talking with the participants shed new light on aging.
“They made me realize that I shouldn’t be scared of the future,” said Kraybill. “It makes me appreciate living in the moment.”
“I’m excited to age.”
Kraybill’s project will be in the EMU library for commencement weekend, April 27-28. The library is open from noon – 2:30 p.m., on Saturday, April 27, and noon till one hour after graduation on Sunday, April 28 (if graduation is outside).