Enlightening Elders with Art

By Brianna Gleghorn

Senior citizens were able to get to know one another and create conversations about featured artwork at the Senior Art and Learn at The Butler Institute of American Art Feb. 21.

In addition to the event, attendees were also given a tour. A group of art lovers from the Challenges Center in New Castle, Pennsylvania, have been attending this event since it began two years ago.

Challenges Center is a community center that educates adults over the age of 50 in various subjects, including art and providing other services. Karen Craven, from Challenges, has been going to this event for two years.

“We take an art class at Challenges and I was looking online and came across this,” she said. “It happened to be the first time they had it too.”

Photo by Brianna Gleghorn/The Jambar

Craven, being an artist herself, was especially excited for this exhibit because it was her specialty —  pastels. During the tour, she was able to give background on how an artist could achieve a certain look. This gave an inside look into the pieces and how they were created.

The group interpreted the artwork from the Pastel Society of America. This was the 46th annual exhibition.

Lois Martin-Uscianowski manages the Southside Community Garden in Youngstown, which provides children’s garden programs and an annual butterfly festival. This was her first time at the event.

“It was very enlightening,” she said. “I was surprised to see pictures with vivid colors. I also love meeting new people.”

Martin-Uscianowski has returned to Youngstown State University to obtain a degree in nonprofit and human resources and will graduate in the fall. She previously received her degree in criminal justice.

Hannah Moses, a docent from the Butler, led the group through the artwork along with JoAnn Blunt, also a docent.

“It’s fun to talk about art in a group and having that interaction brings new views,” Moses said.

After the “slow looking” of the art, there was a breakfast provided in the Collections Café in the art instutite. Slow looking is examining art, but not glancing quickly at the piece and moving on. This gives the viewer a better chance understanding the piece.

This event is a part of Arts in the Early Morning that the Butler has once a month and is free to the public. The Butler also has Stroller Art for parents of babies up to 24 months old and Young Friends Adventure for children ages two through five.

Each event is on a different Thursday of the month excluding December. The next Senior Art and Learn will be on March 21 at 10 a.m. at the Butler.

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