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Published: June 21, 2024

Kendal Collects 1

Maybe you had a baseball card or doll collection as a child or as an adult enjoy collecting maps or other memorabilia from a trip. Maybe fish-shaped jewelry is your thing or antique pocketknives, but you don’t consider yourself a “collector.”When it comes to collecting the types of things and intensity run the gamut, as illustrated by Kendal Collects, a biennial exhibit in which residents display paintings, pottery, photograph, quilts and more from their “collection.” (More on this later).

First, let’s take a look at collecting, whether casual or serious.

“Nostalgia is one of the biggest reasons why people collect. Often, the objects that they are collecting are ones that they have admired since childhood, and as an adult they have the opportunity to acquire those items that they once owned or once desired to own. This can be especially true of vintage toy collectors, who seek to complete a collection that started when they were young,” according to Collectibles Insurance Services (CIS).

Why and what people collect things

People collect everything from A (angel figurines) to Z (Zippo lighters) and the reasons they do so are equally varied. But along with nostalgia CIS has come up with eight more motivators, which are:

  • Emotional or sentimental attachment;
  • Desire to learn more about an area of interest;
  • Enjoyment;
  • Aesthetically pleasing objects;
  • Investment;
  • Sense of community;
  • Recognition;
  • Thrill of the hunt.

The most popular items that people collect are coins, stamps, baseball and other sports cards, comic books, action figures, vintage toys, fine art, model cars, vinyl records and model trains.

Some unusual items include typewriters (Tom Hanks), cars (Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld), Happy Meal toys (Rosie O’Donnell) and Coca-Cola cans, traffic cones, police hats/helmets and erasers from lesser-known collectors.

And no surprise that many people like to collect souvenirs of their travels, near and far. The Travel Channel came up with 10 fun travel collections and here are five:

  1. Hats
  2. Postcards
  3. Matches
  4. Shot glasses
  5. Shells

Kendal’s biennial collection event

Every two years Kendal’s art gallery is turned into a repository for residents to display items from their personal collection of artwork and the like. (The exhibit rotates with Kendal Creates.)

This year about 50 residents participated, with many displaying two items. The exhibit runs through Aug. 19 in the Kendal and Community Galleries.

Here’s a snapshot of the exhibit from four residents

Bunny Hensley

Karl Schrag, modernist painter and printmaker, summered on the coast of Maine at Deer Isle for over 40 years. He and his wife, Llse, who were always very kind to me, were long time friends of my mother, Jane Weiss Garrett, a Kendal resident for 15 years who also summered at Deer Isle.

The print I brought to Kendal Collects (photographed below) was in my mother’s apartment. It was dedicated to my mother and so has great meaning to me. (Karl’s works are shown in many art galleries and museums, information about him can be found at https://www.annexgalleries.com/artists/biography/2129/Schrag/Karl)

photograph of art work


Mary Behm

I submitted the mixed media painting “Space” by Erica Weiss. Erica had a wonderful art gallery in Little Italy, Cleveland which had her own work as well as others' unique and interesting artworks. I loved the various media she used in this piece—paint, fiber, gilt, and the whimsy of colored cotton balls. The composition itself is very interesting and changes a bit in different lighting conditions. When we downsized to come to Kendal, this is a favorite piece we wanted to continue to live with.

photograph of mixed media artwork

Nancy Garver

The two quilted pieces (photographed below) of Ginko leaves were made by a famous quilter, Mary Stori who taught classes all over the USA as well as writing books. I got to know her as she also led tours, quilt cruises, and river boat trips. A delightful way to travel – take classes on days at sea and meet other quilters. Mary has become a friend and I am thrilled to have three of her pieces.

Since I had space at Ginko Gallery in Oberlin for 20 years my love of Ginko trees and their leaf structure enchanted me. Actually my interest in the Ginko began in my college years at Beloit in Wisconsin where a large Ginko was outside a dorm, and a Biology Professor talked about its history as a unique species.

photograph of two quilts


George Cyphers

The first of my two pieces is “Piano Man,” a print of a portrait of Mose Vinson from Holly Springs, Mississippi, who said “…I was born playin’…” . He was a gospel and blues musician whose contributions are curated by the Center for Southern Folklore in Memphis(photographed below).  

photograph of artwork


The second piece is titled “Front Porch Jammin” and is a painting depicting the sheer joy of musicians playing their feelings together for whomever will listen, or perhaps no one at all.  They are special to me both for their subject matter as well as the memory of the adventure in which they were found (photographed below)

photo of artwork


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Author Molly Kavanaugh 2020In the past, Molly Kavanaugh frequently wrote about Kendal at Oberlin for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, where she was a reporter for 16 years. Now we are happy to have her writing for the Kendal at Oberlin Community.

About Kendal at Oberlin: Kendal is a nonprofit life plan community serving older adults in northeast Ohio. Located about one mile from Oberlin College and Conservatory, and about a 40 minute drive from downtown Cleveland, Kendal offers a vibrant resident-led lifestyle with access to music, art and lifelong learning.