Artists in Residence: Stetson Law students volunteer with local nursing home to create Maturity in the Masterpiece program

When a group of students in Professor Rebecca Morgan’s Elder Law Seminar class visited a local nursing home in Gulfport, student Ashley Heino noticed that the walls were lacking artwork.

Students volunteered for “Maturity in the Masterpiece."

Student Heather Woods volunteered for “Maturity in the Masterpiece.” Photo by Stan Arthur.

She and fellow student Christine O’Shea discussed how Stetson Law students and the nursing home might work together to create artwork to spruce up the walls while also providing the residents with a creative activity. The idea for “Maturity in the Masterpiece” was born.

O’Shea worked with the nursing home and recruited nine fellow students to volunteer to help nursing home residents create original paintings. On Oct. 4, the first group of volunteer Stetson Law students met with nursing home residents. They spent the afternoon creating works of art that will be previewed during an art show and then displayed at the nursing home.

“I was really proud of my fellow students,” said O’Shea. “They were extremely patient and caring, qualities you hope law students will have as they become role models for their community.”

O’Shea said that she hopes the entire Stetson community will participate in the “Maturity in the Masterpiece” program, tentatively scheduled for the first Friday of each month from 2- 4 p.m. at the Boca Ciega Center in Gulfport.

“Not only is it great for the residents, it is also a good way for Stetson Law students and faculty and staff to break away from the books and add some variety to their lives,” said O’Shea.

The next “Maturity in the Masterpiece” will take place between 2-4 p.m. on Nov. 1 at the Boca Ciega Center in Gulfport, 1414 59th St. S. All Stetson faculty, students, and staff are encouraged to volunteer.

Stetson students volunteered to help assisted living facility residents create original works of art.

Stetson students volunteered to help assisted living facility residents create original works of art.

“For many residents, Boca Ciega is their only home,” said Heino. “By giving residents the opportunity to display their artwork throughout Boca Ciega, I believe this program will bring the residents a new sense of happiness and pride and create many lasting memories.”

The Boca Ciega Center is a nonprofit nursing home and rehabilitative center. To learn more about volunteering to help, contact Christine O’Shea at