16 British Columbia artists, men and women, senior both in years and professional stature, share their personal take on life, the human condition, aging, the passage of time, and the search for meaning and purpose in life
Aging is a hot topic these days. Aging boomers consult experts on 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. But artists are accustomed to living on the fringes of society—on the outside, looking in. They are typically less conventional, more experimental, more critical of society, and often poorer, less secure, and more isolated than the average citizen.
“Then suddenly we’re Seniors,” artist and curator Marci Katz writes, “part of the fastest growing and most conservative demographic in the country. But we’re not typical Seniors; we generally remain marginal and we don’t retire. We continue to work because making art is our life, and still defines us.” Marci says these aging, working, engaged artists are ‘Cultural Elders’.
Marci Katz invited 16 B.C. 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 their personal search for meaning in life. The resulting exhibit is called Existential Elders, and its on display at the newly-expanded Nanaimo Art Gallery’s downtown location.
The gallery’s artistic director Jesse Birch told the Nanaimo News Bulletin it was a “no-brainer” to host the unique exhibit: “It’s such a thoughtful exhibition. Of course there have been group exhibitions of artists who have been working together for a long time and are in their senior years, but never have I ever seen one where they are addressing their position and that’s what makes it strong.”
Existential Elders is on display at the Nanaimo Art Gallery until August 9, 2014.
We speak with Nanaimo Art Gallery artistic director Jesse Birch.
The People First Radio interview with Jesse Birch focuses on works by Anna Banana and by Jeff Hartblower and Jo Swallow (images above from the Existential Elders exhibit, along with screen captures from Marci Katz’s video at Vimeo.com). Image at the top of the post is by artist/curator Marci Katz; Life is a banquet is an assemblage from found materials in the form of a mobile.
Jesse Birch, artistic director at Nanaimo Art Gallery, and pieces from Existential Elders. The exhibit runs until August 9, 2014.
Existential Elders on Vimeo by Marci Katz