Existential Elders

Opening Reception: Saturday, June 21, 2:00 - 5:00pm

June 24 to August 9, 2014

Wisdom, they say, comes with age.

BF - the Last JourneyAging is a hot topic these days. Aging boomers consult experts about how to prepare for old age, how to look younger, how to save for retirement, how to maintain their brains and bodies at peak performance.

Artists are accustomed to living on the fringes of society - on the outside, looking in. We are typically less conventional, more experimental, more critical of society, often poorer, less secure, and more isolated than the average citizen.

Then suddenly we're Seniors, part of the fastest growing and most conservative demographic in the country. But we're not typical Seniors; we generally remain marginal and experimental and we don't retire. We adapt to the physical limitations of age and carry on with our work. We work because making art has become our life, and still defines us. We've become what I call "Cultural Elders".

The traditional role of Elders in society is to share wisdom with younger generations. So what do we, as Cultural Elders, have to say? For this project I invited sixteen BC artists, men and women, senior both in years and professional stature, to share their personal take on life, the human condition, aging, the passage of time, and the search for meaning and purpose in life.

Participating Artists: Donna Balma, Anna Banana, Famous Empty Sky, Bill Friesen, DF Gray, Tim Haley, Jeff Hartbower, Barbara Hutson, Marci Katz, Ursula Medley, Robert Moon, Lynn Orriss, Joe Rosenblatt, Jo Swallow, Sharon Urdahl, Ed Varney

Exhibition by Curator/Participant Marci Katz
Image: Bill Friesen, The Last Journey, 2014, acrylic on recycled marine canvas

Article on "Existential Elders" and interview with Nanaimo Art Gallery's Interim Executive Artistic Director, Jesse Birch.



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