Philadelphia – Art is in full bloom this May as artists ranging from 55 to 101 years old showcase their work through Philadelphia Corporation for Aging’s (PCA) 13th annual “Celebrate Arts and Aging” festivities. For the first time, Philadelphia’s City Hall will be one of the venues for exhibits of senior art.
Held during Older Americans Month, PCA’s annual senior arts celebration will highlight older adults’ artistic talents with a total of 182 artworks on exhibit at three sites: Philadelphia Senior Center-Main Branch (Center City), Center on the Hill…the place for active adults (Chestnut Hill); and, Philadelphia’s City Hall. As part of the celebration, performing arts venues offer special discounts. There are also workshops and classes where seniors can cultivate their own creativity.
Among the works on display at City Hall is Joseph (“J”) Reynard’s finely detailed watercolor, “Love’s Garden,” which is the signature work for this year’s arts celebration. It portrays three young African-American children playing in a tin washtub, set in a tiny concrete yard that is surrounded by walls on three sides. At left is a sandbox containing a toy scooter, pail, wagon and doll. A scrub board leans against the sandbox, and water from a hose splashes in the youngsters’ direction. Reynard, 77, says the painting is reminiscent of his adolescent summers in Philadelphia during the 1940s. On hot summer days, even with few resources, city kids knew how to improvise and have a good time, he says.
“Our goal is to encourage older people to experience the wealth of artistic possibilities our region has to offer and to showcase the outstanding work of senior artists,” says Holly Lange, PCA president and CEO. “Older adults continue to grow and develop as they age and have extraordinary talent and wisdom to contribute. We also know that staying active and engaged is one of the keys to healthy aging, and the arts specifically have been shown to have a broad range of physical, mental, and emotional benefits.”
Artwork on display takes many forms this year: paintings, drawings, ceramics, jewelry, fabric art, mixed media and photography. Many of the participating artists are new to art, others are longtime professionals, but all attest to the joy of creativity.
Artists’ receptions, which are free and open to the public, will be held at each exhibit site at the following dates and times:
- Wednesday, May 6, 4:30 to 6:30p.m. at City Hall (5th Floor), 1401 JFK Blvd. (Gallery hours: weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
- Thursday, May 14, 4 to 6 p.m. at Philadelphia Senior Center, 509 S. Broad St. (Gallery hours: weekdays, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
- Thursday, May 28, 4 to 6 p.m. at Center on the Hill … the place for active adults, 8855 Germantown Ave. (adjacent to the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill) (Gallery hours: weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sundays, 9 a.m. to noon.)
Throughout May, information on “Celebrate Arts and Aging” can be found at www.pcaCares.org/seniorart; in PCA’s Milestones newspaper, available for free at convenient locations throughout the city; and by calling the PCA Helpline at 215-765-9040.
PCA’s Celebrate Arts and Aging is presented with the support of Always Best Care Senior Services, Health Partners Plans and PECO.
According to the Administration for Community Living (ACL) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, this year’s theme of Older Americans Month, “Get into the Act,” honors the 50th anniversary of the Older Americans Act (OAA). “We celebrate how older adults are taking charge of their health, getting engaged in their communities, and making a positive impact in the lives of others,” the ACL notes. Nationwide, one in five older adults – 11 million people – receive services from an OAA program, according to a report from the AARP Public Policy Institute.
Philadelphia Corporation for Aging (PCA) is the first place where older Philadelphians, and adults with disabilities, can turn for information and services to help maintain or improve the quality of their lives.
Established in 1973, PCA is a private, non-profit, nationally-recognized Area Agency on Aging. PCA contracts with more than 200 community organizations to deliver services aimed at helping older Philadelphians and adults with disabilities achieve their maximum levels of health, independence and productivity. Through its work, PCA touches the lives more than 100,000 individuals each year.
One of the region’s largest non-profit organizations, PCA is funded primarily through the Older Americans Act and the Pennsylvania Lottery, through the Pennsylvania Department of Aging; and from Medical Assistance through the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services.
For information on PCA’s services and programs, call the PCA Helpline at 215-765-9040 or visit www.pcaCares.org.
MEDIA CONTACT: Marcia, Siegal, 215-765-9000, ext. 5091; Cell: 215-287-1237