What’s your art form?
I paint upside down-inside-out and backwards on hand blown glass bowls and vases. I also specialize in mixed media collages—my award winning book, I’m New at Being Old, is comprised of a series of colorful, whimsical collage-paintings.
Will you share a piece of advice for aspiring visual artists or artists in general?
My advice: just do it. You are never too old – or too young…
How does teaching your craft to elderly affect your own art?
A lot of my art is about the art of aging. I learn from my students—who use approaches that I might not have thought of. I also learn about growing older—and the courage that it takes to try to new things when you’re 80 or 90 or 100 years old.
By the end of a residency or series of classes, what are 3 things you hope most students have learned?
They have learned new techniques: dying paper, designing and creating collages
They learn about their own stories—because the collages are about them.
But most important—they have learned that they are artists—that they can create something beautiful with their own hands
What does being a COMPAS artist mean to you?
I began my art career when I was almost 60 years old, asking myself: How old do I have to be to follow my dream? Teaching art to older adults is very special to me. Watching someone bloom when he or she creates a piece of art—it’s the best!
Why do you think arts education is needed in our community?
Creating art (in all different forms) is an essential part of being human. For the elderly, the focus of social programming is often on deficits—what they can’t do. Offering an opportunity to do art is the opposite—it’s a way to facilitate vital aging.