Carol and Armand

Art of Life — Produced by Karen Smyles

At age 39 Carol Saylor earned her BFA from Tyler School of Art, where she graduated magna cum laude while raising five children and teaching art part-time with Abington Parks and Recreation. She discovered that she was losing her hearing and eyesight soon after graduating from Tyler and teaching art and humanities for 3 years at Lenape Junior High in Doylestown, PA.

In addition to dealing with her own life-changing medical situation, her husband, and later a daughter, died of cancer, and she took on the responsibility of helping to care for her three surviving grandaughters. These, and other life experiences have shaped and inspired her work artistically. After losing her eyesight and no longer being able to paint, Carol turned to sculpting and decided to create work that could be touched and experienced by the blind.

Armand Mednick is a sculptor who also attended Tyler School of Art, but didn’t know Carol Saylor at that time. He is known for his powerful sculptures inspired by personal experiences. Born in Brussels, Belgium, Mednick and his family escaped the Holocaust by posing as Christians for four years in France. Most of his extended family died in concentration camps in Poland. Mednick taught art to children at Oak Lane Day School for almost 50 years, and now teaches at the Allen’s Lane Art Center.
Mednick’s wife of 45 years, also died of cancer.

Last Spring, Carol Saylor enrolled in one of his classes, and as Armand says, “It was love at first sight.” Carol, 75 and Armand, 80, have started new phases in their lives and in their art. Friday Arts recently spent the day with the “Young” couple, seeing and hearing why these two talented souls are now crediting the other with helping to get beyond the grief.

Web Extra: Inside the Woodmere Art Museum

Woodmere Art Museum, located in Chestnut Hill, is known for celebrating the art and artists of Philadelphia. In this short piece, William R. Valerio, Director and CEO, shares how the museum came into being and what makes it such a local treasure. Now through October 26th, you can experience The Poker Game and Its Circle, a fantastic exhibition of works at the Woodmere. It celebrates a close-knit group of Philadelphia artists who have been meeting for decades for a game of cards and to share ideas about art and life. It is an opportunity to see the work of Armand Mednick, who has helped to carry on this tradition to this day. Edited by Will Standish

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