We change as we age, so should our art

Each year, PMMA’s Art is Ageless® program celebrates the ongoing artistic pursuits of area seniors 65 and over. However, for every senior who participates in community-sponsored art classes or has their work featured in the annual Art is Ageless calendar, there are many more whose work we don’t get to see because they have simply stopped creating as a result of health-related challenges and disabilities.


According to Farmington Presbyterian Manor’s Sales and Marketing Director Keely Jameson, it’s often not that they can’t create, it’s that when they do, their work no longer meets their own standards.


“When you dig a little deeper, it’s usually because they are being too critical of their own work because they can’t accomplish what they used to be able to,” said Keely.


Whenever she encounters an artist who no longer does what they love because they are unhappy with the results, Keely reminds them of why they created art in the first place and encourages them to look at the situation from a new perspective.


“It’s unfair to hold ourselves to unrealistic standards and allow those standards to dictate whether we continue to pursue something that makes us happy,” said Keely. “As we age there are so many things that change with us—our clothes, hairstyles, modes of transport—why not allow our artwork to evolve with us as our age and abilities change?”


It’s also important to remind ourselves that some of the greatest artists in history have faced their own health setbacks. Michelangelo, Francisco Goya, Paul Klee, Vincent Van Gogh and Henri Matisse all had life-altering medical conditions and many not only adapted to their new circumstances but went on to be highly productive and create some of their most famous and best-loved works of art.


Sure, we may not all be Michelangelo or Van Gogh, but that doesn’t mean we can’t follow their lead.


“Don’t let your loss bring your creative abilities to a halt. Learn how to change and adapt so you can keep creating and accept whatever art born from that for what it is—a beautiful new chapter,” said Keely.


Just remember, art is ageless—regardless of our physical abilities.

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