Words of Wisdom, 2012-2013

Creative Aging Outreach Program
Project commissioned by the Mesa Arts Center, Mesa, AZ

With participants from New Frontiers (Mesa Community College Lifelong Learning Association), Mesa Arts Center and Fellowship Square Senior Living - Mesa

Selected Individual Artworks (artists and titles listed top to bottom and left to right):

Helga van Muijen, Travel Often, Getting Lost Will Help You Find Yourself
Ruth Kerstine, Enjoy Each Day
Mary Thomas, Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May
Vergie McDavid, I Don't Want to Miss Anything
Sharen Kellogg, The Time Is Now
Pat Knutesen, Something Wonderful Is About To Happen
Gary Santoro, The Best Way To Predict The Future Is To Create It

Participating older adults began this project by developing a phrase or sentence that has motivated or supported them in their own lives. The content of the words is intended in turn to support participants creatively, while using the visual language of text as a stepping off point for individual and collaborative artworks.

Individual mixed media works began with fabric on a stretcher frame, and proceeded with applying the selected affirmational phrase using a process-based layering of materials.

Following completion of the individual artworks, groups began their collaborative banners by selecting one phrase to be enlarged. Building on individuals' experience in the first phase, collaborative banners aim to give collective voice to group members' individual histories and shared creative experience.

Selected Collaborative Banners Below (Artist groups and titles listed clockwise from upper left):

Jane Allen, Ruth Kerstine, NeEva Myers, Showers of Blessings

Nancy Hornyak, Ruth Huttner, Pat Knutsen, DeAnna Stulgaitis, "Let the Beauty of What You Love Be What You Do" - Rumi

Jane Allen, Ruth Kerstine, NeEva Myers, Love of Life

Ginny Fisher, Vergie McDavid, Helga van Muijen, Gary Santoro, If You Could See Me Now