The Senior Adult Club at the Jewish Community Center in Harrisburg embraced each of the creative projects of my "creative aging" artist residency called "The Art of Curiosity".
It was inspired by resources such as:
"How to Think Like Leonardo DaVinci" by Michael Gelb
* "Big Magic" by Elizabeth Gilbert
* Ted Talk, "How frustration can make us more creative" by Tim Harford, and using Oblique Strategies cards
* "The Art Forger" by B.A. Shapiro
* "Creative Dyeing for Fabric Arts" by Suzanne McNeill
* Caitlin's Smiles "bags of smiles" program
Students were asked to write 3 single words that describe their experience from this class. Their answers include: creativity, expression, companionship, happiness, excitement, motivating, inspiring, stimulating, enlightening, joyful, entertaining, enjoyable, relaxing, challenging, innovative, cooperative, communicating with others, creative outlet, freedom to experiment without judgement, new friends, met nice people, an escape from ordinary life, growth, satisfaction, appreciation, and fun, really fun, fun, fun, fun!
In response to "one thing I learned was"...
...to let my eyes and hands take over and not to think too much about what to do.
...its good to be curious.
...to stop trying for perfection. Just do it.
...everyone has artistic ability.
...all art is creative excellence.
...relax to let the creativity flow.
...diversity, new art forms.
Students gave reviews, such as:
"I really loved going from conventional portraits to the single line drawing and simplifying it further to create my wire portrait of my grandson. It's the best thing I've done so far."
"Being creative and expressing it helps keep your mind from turning to mush. It keeps you young!"
"Learning that 'leaving perfection go' is okay -- to just experiment without expecting a masterpiece."
"Nothing is unfixable -- one need not be an artist to enjoy participating in an artist residency."
"I made numerous bags - got me thinking about how fortunate I am to have my health."
The residency was an Arts In Education program of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts; and funded in part by The Foundation for Enhancing Communities.
This group even ended up on TV with a visit from ABC27 News. Watch it here: https://www.abc27.com/news/local/harrisburg/art-class-has-seniors-exploring-the-art-of-curiosity/
And, they got to show their creative prowess to state leaders when the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Aging (PDA), Robert Torres, and the executive director of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Karl Blischke visited the class.
A statewide promotional video about taking "creative aging" classes at PA senior centers was created by PDA during their visit starring this talented class. Watch it here: https://www.facebook.com/PennsylvaniaAging/videos/594852094335574/
Wait, there's more! The Community Review ran this story about the wire art class. Read it here: https://issuu.com/b.romano/docs/cr_8-2-2019__1_/4?ff&fbclid=IwAR0bXZYsWxpBwjl9u54bAC9JiAE2XrKk6J5V20eRMQzsbJd-LJr5Fs0E8dY
And, 50 Plus Life ran this story about the visit from State leaders: http://50pluslifepa.com/lifestyle/1214-wolf-administration-visits-artist-residency-program-for-seniors
Really Fun Photos
Here are colorful and fun, really fun, fun, fun, fun, fun photos from The Art of Curiosity"...