Blog Article

Making Hearts Dance at American House Keene.

A beloved American House Keene employee, Candace was born and raised in Germantown, in northeast Philadelphia, with five siblings. Her mother was a caretaker and nanny for multiple families and her father was a carpenter. She attended Dobbins Technical High School and though she grew up in the city, Candace considered herself a country girl at heart. She loved being outside and studying nature. Her father introduced her to the world of bugs, insects and birds. Candace was hooked and nature and art became the loves of her young life.

When she wasn’t in school, she had summer jobs in daycare and childcare and painted signs for a local housing development. In high school, Candace won a small “postcard” art contest with a “dance” theme after her first idea was stolen by a fellow student. Candace had to start over with a new idea and took first place. The student who stole her idea came in second, so she won twice, Candace said with a laugh.

Candace has called American House Keene home for two years. Her friend Jack, one of the maintenance assistants, thought she’d be a great fit and encouraged her to apply. He was right. According to Life Enrichment Director Eric Walther, she has been a great part-time addition to the culinary team.

“Candace has been a joy to work with and our residents love her. She’s a wonderful person with a huge heart and a great sense of humor,” Eric said. “She delights our residents every time she is on shift and we’re very proud to have her on staff three days a week.”

When she’s not working, Candace makes sure she has a canvas set up just in case something comes to mind.

“I like to be prepared,” she said, “because sometimes ideas hit me and ignite my passion and creativity!”

Her favorite artists are Monet, Renoir and, especially, Georgia O’Keefe.

“I love her flowers and how she painted so big. I’m into detail and think a lot about color and texture. If I can see it before I create it, I get right into the project. The painting is the destination in the end.”

One of her favorites is a painting called “Golden Dream,” which was commissioned for a resident at American House, as well as “Sloth,” a painting now on display at a local gallery.

Her artwork draws people in and is always taking Candace in exciting new directions. At the Keene Art in the Park festival, a woman she’d never met before invited her to be part of a new exhibit at the Healing Arts Gallery within the Monadnock Community Hospital. The goal of each new painting Candace works on is to make the viewer’s heart dance and bring delight to the soul. She can also do that without her art.

“Candace had only been at American House for three months when she was chosen to be an Employee Ambassador. She goes above and beyond for our residents,” Eric said. “Candace is kind and is a sheer delight to be around. Our residents love her.”

Candace is preparing for Art in the Park in Peterborough, New Hampshire, with a prime spot by the river this summer. The community has featured Candace’s artwork on more than one occasion, and she only has great things to say about her time at American House Keene.

“I have two awesome bosses. They’re such a great team and they make me feel so welcome,” Candace said. “I love our culinary team and the daily challenges with our residents. They’re all so kind and it’s a pleasure to share my artwork with them. I love working here at American House.”

We all have a story. A story that taught us something, changed us and helped define who we are. At American House, your next chapter is waiting to be written. We’re here to help you write it. Your way.

Written By

Jim Dudley

With over 20 years of writing experience, Jim has worked for some of the biggest ad agencies in the Detroit area before joining American House. He earned a degree from Marquette University.

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