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News & Events

Reed Gallery presents “Senior Artists Gala Exhibition”

The University of Maine at Presque Isle’s Reed Art Gallery is proud to present the Senior Artists Gala Exhibition from Monday, April 3 through Friday, May 19, 2017. The public is invited to view the exhibition throughout the show’s run and attend the Gallery Reception on Friday, April 7, from 5-7 p.m., which is being held in conjunction with the First Friday Art Walk. The event will include a Gallery Talk with the artists at 5:30 p.m.

The Senior Artists Gala Exhibition is the collaborative work of senior artists who are all members of SAGE (Seniors Achieving Greater Education), a UMPI program. SAGE is one of 17 senior colleges in Maine, affording intellectually curious adults aged 50 and better a variety of opportunities for lifelong learning and creative adventures. The exhibition showcases the variety of visual arts undertaken by seniors who have remained creative as they age, including: painting, sculpture, photography, weaving, recycled paper arts, knitting, crochet, and more.

“Their creative expression shows playfulness, imagination, improvisation, spontaneity, originality, and divergent thinking, putting to rest the myth that retirees spend their time lolling in rockers on the front porch, just watching the world pass by,” Pam Crawford, SAGE member who has assisted in the organization of this exhibit, said.

Research over several decades has documented the myriad benefits of creative aging, the creative process itself being both healing and life-enhancing. Among those benefits are: increased self-reflection and self-awareness; stress relief and relaxation through concentrated, calming pleasure; mastery of new skills that can improve problem solving and decision making in everyday life; renewed mindfulness, meaning and purpose; improved social functioning and increased activity levels; increased flexibility, broadened thinking, and overcoming routine and habit; increased curiosity and a willingness to feel the world differently; intellectual stimulation that challenges and exercises the brain; and improved physical well-being, including better coordination, enhanced immune system, less depression, and less medication.

“Aging is inevitable, but remaining creative enlivens the spirit, increases one’s energy, and provides an artful outlet for storytelling and celebrating the fundamentals of a long life well lived,” Reed Gallery Director Hyrum Benson said. “The participants in this show demonstrate what their hearts and hands must reveal—the capacity to pass on to the next generation their stories, their passions, their culture, their history and their values—through their art. Their art is, therefore, an inventive transformation of their daily experience; it shapes the artists in the same way the artist may shape the clay.”

SAGE and Reed Gallery officials encourage everyone to explore this exhibit and develop a deeper understanding of the vastness and the value of these artistic expressions of elderhood.

All are invited to view the show starting April 3 and to come out to First Friday Art Walk on April 7 and take part in the free reception. Light refreshments will be served. Please follow gallery happenings on the Reed Gallery Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ReedArtGallery.

The Reed Art Gallery is located in the Center for Innovative Learning. The gallery will be open Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. The gallery is closed during University holidays. For more information about this event, please contact Benson at hyrum.benson@maine.edu.