Posts tagged ‘arts’

Ben Cohen’s “Lakeside” Is Signature Artwork for PCA’s 2012 “Celebrate Arts and Aging”

ImageAsked how long he’s been painting, artist Benjamin (Ben) Cohen, 88, replies, “I guess forever.” Cohen’s painting, “Lakeside,” an idyllic scene of a lakeside house with autumnal trees in the background, is the signature artwork for Philadelphia Corporation for Aging’s (PCA) 10th annual senior arts festival “Celebrate Arts and Aging” http://www.phillyfunguide.com/page/Celebrate.   It will be on exhibit during May at Independence Visitor Center in the city’s historic district and featured on posters, mailings, and electronic media publicizing the citywide celebration.

“My philosophy is that art should be uplifting and thought-provoking and may allow for quite a smile.  There is enough horror and aggravation going on nowadays. If I can make someone smile, I want to do that,” the artist says.

“Lakeside” was inspired by the one of the many outings Cohen has enjoyed with the Rancocas Valley Plein Air painters, a group of more than 30 local artists, who visit a different outdoor site to paint each week, weather permitting. “I bring my backpack with a bunch of pastels and sit and relax and paint,” Cohen explains.”People will see me and ask: ‘Are you an artist?’”

Cohen’s talent was noticed early on. The son of an iceman and a homemaker, he grew up in New York City’s Lower East Side, and attended the Henry Street Settlement http://www.henrystreet.org/, a social service agency there dedicated to “opening the doors of opportunity” to residents in the community through social services, arts, and health care programs. “They were very interested in keeping kids on the right path,” he remembers. “They thought I had talent and sent me to a life-study art class. But at nine years old, I was too embarrassed to look at the [nude] model.”

Ben CohenCohen later studied at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn on the GI bill, after serving in the U.S. army in World War II.

He fought in many of the war’s most famous battles, including the Battle of the Bulge and the Battle of Metz in France that followed the Normandy landings. Earlier this spring, during a special ceremony at the French consulate in New York City, he was one of 18 U.S. veterans presented with the Legion of Honor Chevalier for their services in the liberation of France during World War II.

“War taught me to face reality,” Cohen reflects. “I try to follow my instincts. When I do something, I don’t look back.” That goes for painting too, he says. “When I paint a nose, it’s really a nose, not just a metaphor or a philosophical statement.”

Cohen graduated Pratt with a degree in industrial design and spent 50 years as a commercial artist, designing everything from toys and sweaters to catalogues and displays. It often meant working around the clock. While those demands left little time for fine art pursuits, he squeezed in what time he could to paint in the pastel medium he favors.

After such a demanding work schedule, “I was a little leery about retiring,” he admits of that decision 10 years ago. “I thought, ‘I’ll go crazy. What will I do?’”

The answer came quickly enough. Tuesdays are spent with his fellow plein air painters. On Thursdays, he attends a class at the Philadelphia Sketch Club, where he has helped to organize exhibitions. He taught at the Philadelphia Art Alliance and Fleisher Art Memorial and currently teaches at the Willingboro Art Alliance near his Cinnaminson, New Jersey home. Most of all, life these days is centered on his home studio, “where I still work around the clock. It’s still a crazy, busy schedule.” His expressive landscapes and figure paintings have found homes in many private, corporate and public collections.

In September, the Home Fine Art Gallery in Mt. Holly, New Jersey, will open an exhibition of his work entitled “The Flip Side.” One of these artworks features Santa Claus sitting in front of a window and eyeing the raging snow and ice storm outside. “I titled it ‘I Ain’t Going Out in That,’” the artist says with a laugh.

Cohen now manages to fit in a few hobbies, including gardening. “It’s one of my passions because it’s so relaxing,” he says. “I can dig in the garden and forget the world around me. Art, when it’s on a serious level, is not overly relaxing because you are never satisfied with what you do.”

“Lakeside” will be on exhibit through May at Independence Visitor Center, 1 Independence Mall West, in Philadelphia.

For more information on this exhibit and other PCA “Celebrate Arts and Aging” exhibits and cultural opportunities this month, visit www.phillyfunguide.com/celebrate.

By Marcia Z. Siegal
Source: Philadelphia Corporation for Aging

Call for Artists 55+ for PCA’s Celebrate Arts and Aging

Original artwork by Marie RicciutiSubmissions Sought from Artists 55+ for 

PCA’s 2012 “Celebrate Arts and Aging” Exhibits 

 

Artists age 55 and over are invited to submit artwork for exhibit as part of the 2012 “Celebrate Arts and Aging” festivities during Older Americans Month in May. Presented by Philadelphia Corporation for Aging, and supported in part by PECO, “Celebrate Arts and Aging” highlights older adults’ artistic talents and creativity with events held throughout the city during May. In addition, it offers older adults a host of opportunities to connect to arts activities that month, including discounts for many arts performances, museums and other cultural venues.

This is the 10th year for the celebration. Senior artwork will be exhibited at four sites this year, including Center on the Hill…the place for active adults in Chestnut Hill; the Klein JCC in Northeast Philadelphia; Independence Visitors Center in Old City; and Philadelphia Senior Center in Center City.

Photo or slides of artwork, accompanied by an art submission form, should be sent to Amanda Buonomo, PCA special events manager, at PCA, 642 North Broad St., Phila., PA 19130 by Wednesday, March 28. Artwork must have been created during the past three years. There is a limit of one submission per applicant. For more information on art submission criteria and an application to exhibit, visit www.pcaCares.org/SeniorArt, call 215-765- 9000, ext. 5052, or email abuonomo@pcaphl.org.

10 Recommendations to Ensure Programs are Inclusive, Accessible, & Relevant to New Comers to America & Older Adults

As you are aware, immigrants and older adults are collectively a growing portion of the United States population with diverse values, varying economic resources, and very different assets and challenges. Arts and cultural organizations have remarkable tools at their disposal to engage these populations through meaningful outreach while simultaneously contributing to organizational sustainability.

Culture Connects All: Rethinking Audiences in Times of Demographic Change  details ten recommendations for ensuring that programs are inclusive, accessible, and relevant to new comers to America and older adults. The recommendations are not prescriptive but are intended to provoke thought and highlight innovative models. Each recommendation is accompanied by stimulating examples from arts and cultural organizations in six cities: New York, Tampa, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, and Phoenix. We hope this report will initiate discussion within your organizations and communities on the opportunities that arise by reaching out to immigrants and older adults.  read report>>

Source: Partners for Livable Communities and MetLife Foundation

PCA’s Celebrate Arts & Aging – CALL FOR ARTISTS

Do you know a talented older adult artist?

For the ninth year, Philadelphia Corporation for Aging invites artists age 55-plus to submit works to be considered for Older Americans Month.
Celebrate Arts & Aging is a month-long, city-wide celebration featuring exhibitions of extraordinary original artwork by older artists.

Submission Deadline: Monday, March 28, 2011

More information @ http://www.pcacares.org/seniorart

Art will be exhibited during the entire month of May at the following locations:

  • Center on the Hill (website)
  • Free Library of Philadelphia -Main Branch (website)
  • Philadelphia Senior Center (website)

First Violin Auditions Called by New Jersey Intergenerational Symphony on November 18

The New Jersey Intergenerational Symphony is expanding its 1st violin section and will hold open auditions for 1st violinists at 6 p.m. on November 18, at the Wharton Music Center, 60 Locust Avenue, Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922.  For more information, email info@njio.org or call Liz Nowick, at 908-603-7691. www.njio.org

At NJIO, symphony members of all ages enjoy working with professional musicians as mentors to blend a high vision of artistic excellence with strong educational components in a non-competitive, musically challenging atmosphere. The New Jersey Intergenerational Orchestra is a unique organization for “Bridging the Generations Through Music.” continue reading>>

Source: The Alternative Press

Experience Aging through Art at the ASA East Coast Conference here in Philadelphia

Creative Arts & Aging Network
is presenting
“Creative Connections: Experience Aging through Art”

at the
American Society on Aging’s (ASA)

East Coast Conference on Aging

“Creative Connections: Experiencing Aging through Art,” will feature two sessions: Morning Session:*Experiencing Aging through Art Part I (9:30-12:30) and Afternoon Session:*Experiencing Aging through Art Part II (1:30-4:30).

The morning intensive is designed to help staff working in the aging field find and develop the resources necessary to implement arts programming for older adults. A panel of arts, humanities and local professionals will discuss the opportunities available that provide professional arts programming and/or funding.


During the afternoon intensive, professional teaching artists (experienced working with older adults) will explore the opportunities for artists to bring creativity to aging services The need for older adults to nurture creative expression and find meaning through the arts will be explored from the vantage point of artists as teachers. Adaptations for well elders will be the focus, but frail elders, and elders with dementia will be discussed as well. Workshop participants will also engage in a hands-on sensitivity learning activity focused on what it may be like to have diminished senses as part of the natural aging process

For registration and general information visit, artfulaging.blogspot.com

Free ASA Webinar: Connecting Elders Through the Performing Arts: May 27

Dr. Stuart Kandell

MindAlert Presents: Build Community and Health Through Storytelling and the Performing Arts

Thursday, May 27 2010
10:00 – 11:00 AM PST (1:00 PM EST)
Cost: Complimentary
Sponsored by Metlife Foundation

The performing arts can help elders connect with one another and improve their overall health. Learn how to develop these kinds of programs based on the best-practice model of Stagebridge Theatre. Have fun and be inspired.

Participants in this web seminar will:

  • Increase their understanding of how the performing arts can help elders reduce isolation, build community, and improve their physical, cognitive and overall health.
  • Learn simple techniques of employing storytelling and improvisation with groups of elders.
  • Recognize the elements of creating/expanding performing arts programming in elder settings.
  • Be inspired to employ these activities and values.

(more…)

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