by Yangxingyue (Rita) Wang
ART CART: HONORING THE LEGACY
Exhibition at American University’s Katzen Museum
June 23 and 25
Panel #1 – June 23
Featuring Cheryl Edwards, Annette Fortt, Pauline Jakobsberg, and Terry Svat
Moderators: Dr. Pamela Harris Lawton, VCU and Dr. Robert Burke, GWU
Panel # 2 – June 25
Featuring Alonzo Davis, Cianne Fragione, and E.J. Montgomery
Moderators: Dr. Sandra Crewe, Howard University and Adhoa Burrowes, Corcoran School of the Arts + Design
ART CART: SAVING THE LEGACY will be featured in the 2015 Cape May Film Festival:
Cape May 2015 Film Festival
November 13-15, 2015
West Cape May Borough Hall and Firemen’s Banquet Hall
West Cape May, NJ
The legacy of aging artists is saved in a project emanating from New York City.
IF THERE’S ONE THING we know about aging artists, it’s this: Tey’re adaptable, and far from stuck—in their ways or in their styles. Joan Jefri, the director of the Research Center for Arts and Culture at THE LEGACY FUND at the Actors Fund did feld research and more than 200 interviews to collect information from senior artists in the New York area. They’re collected in the report Above Ground: Information on Artists III: Special Focus New York City Aging Artists.
Notes & photos from 9/12/2015:
Slide #1 Introduction
This presentation considers a developing paradigm on the cognitive and creative abilities of the mature mind, the learning potential created through social interaction across generations and domains of knowledge, and incorporates transformative learning theory to engage the continuing creative potential of older adults participating in ArtCart.
Older adults have a wealth of knowledge and experience, a broad range of interests and cognitive abilities, and a unique vantage point: the wisdom acquired with age. Contact with different generations provides elders with the opportunity to exercise generativity, Erikson’s term for what is produced by and flows from generation to generation, relationships, creativity, ideas, products, all considered vital to the healthy development of older adults (Wrightsman, 1994).
Slide#3 Creativity and the Mature Mind
Phases of the mature mind easily connect to common themes in art education such as sense of self, sense of place, and sense of community (Anderson & Milbrandt, 2005) through art creation, interpretation, and critique of the creative process.
Many older adults have a continued interest in learning and sharing their knowledge and wisdom throughout what Cohen (2005) identified as the four phases in the second half of life. He stated that these phases can “coexist, intersect, and interact with one another”
Brief overview of the 4 phases
Slide# 4 Transformative Learning Theory
Transformative learning theory is “the process of using a prior interpretation to construe a new or revised interpretation of the meaning of one’s experience in order to guide future action” (Mezirow, 1991, p. 12). In transformative learning, we reinterpret an old experience (or a new one) from a new set of expectations, thus giving a new meaning and perspective to the old experience (p. 11).
Transformative learning results from activities fostering critical self-reflection that can lead to a change in belief, attitude, and perspective (Mezirow, 1991). It may occur as the result of an “empowering event” such as intergenerational programs in which participants engage in social interaction through interpreting works of art or hands-on arts activities that may lead to both personal and communal transformation (Lawton, 2004).
Slide#6 ArtCart as an Empowering and Transformational Experience
Intergenerational relationships through art can be transformative. They “foster the development of communication and reflection skills and formation of new perspectives about oneself and others” (Kerka, 2002, p. 2).
Slide#7 Examples of Transformative Learning In ArtCart
Older artists became knowledgeable about using computer software to document their art. During their social interaction, graduate art students shared their art works and art process with professional artists, receiving valuable critical feedback. The older artists received assistance with documenting their legacy, and maintaining a safe studio space. Food rituals specific to the artist’s culture and heritage were also part of the exchange as many times the artist fed their student partners during work sessions. The experience provided all participants with opportunities to further develop as skilled practitioners.
As the aging population continues to grow, art educators and my colleagues representing all the disciplines involved in ArtCart should be familiar with the growing appreciation among gerontologists for positive cognitive development after mid-life. There are many therapeutic and educational aspects of art for the aging population, such as the transformative potential for art to unlock the creative power of older adults through intergenerational educational experiences.
“Creativity takes courage,” at least according to Henri Matisse. If that’s the case, then at what point in their lives are artists most creative? When they’re young, bold, and taking risks? Or does creativity blossom over time, with practice and life experience? On the one hand, there’s Mary Shelley, who was just 21 when her landmark gothic horror novel Frankenstein was published.
On the other, there’s Matisse himself, whose later work—he continued to make art up until his death at 84—is considered by many to be his finest. In advance of the Zócalo/Getty “Open Art” event “Does Artistic Greatness Only Come with Age?”, we asked scholars, psychologists, arts administrators, and artists: What is the relationship between age and creativity?
Media Inquiries Contact:
Anne L’Ecuyer, 202-885-3046, firstname.lastname@example.org
Free Step-by-Step Legal Guide to Estate Planning to Benefit Artists and Those Who Care for Their Estates
WASHINGTON, DC, November 24, 2014. When Pablo Picasso died in 1973 at the age of 91, he left behind a fortune in art and assets—but no will. Without a legal document spelling out what was to be done with his enormous estate, Picasso’s family spent years and millions of dollars fighting over the artist’s work, as well as his villas and other valuable holdings. Picasso’s artistic genius was exceptional; his lack of estate planning is not. Artists in general are disinclined to prepare a will or estate plan, according to research. To help address this problem, Columbia University and artists’ advocates collaborated to create a unique new online resource that provides step-by-step instructions to encourage creators to ensure their work lives on beyond them.
The Elder Artists’ Legal Resource was created on behalf of the Research Center for Arts and Culture at the National Center for Creative Aging. The website was designed by students in Columbia Law School’s Lawyering in the Digital Age Clinic in collaboration with Columbia University’s Office of Government and Community Affairs and Columbia University School of the Arts.
The online tool offers intuitive, easy-to-understand guidance for artists who want to inventory their work, document its value, and protect it posthumously. According to Above Ground, a survey by the Research Center for Arts and Culture, 61 percent of aging professional visual artists in New York City have taken no steps to address the legacy of their work, 77 percent have no will, and 97 percent have no estate plan. Among the general U.S. population, only 21 percent of people do not have an estate plan, while around 50 percent do not have a will, the center says.
“It’s an overwhelming problem,” said Joan Jeffri, founder and director of the Research Center for Arts and Culture. “When artists reach a critical age, they have concerns that their work will end up in a dumpster. We wanted to be able to do something to help them. A resource like this, which allows artists to engage difficult legal issues in a simple way, is a wonderful contribution to existing tools in
The Elder Artists’ Legal Resource was created in response to artists’ advocates who approached Marcia Sells ’84, associate vice president for program development and initiatives in Columbia University’s Office of Government and Community Affairs, to let her know about their concerns. “The Office of Government and Community Affairs exists in part to find opportunities for the University to work with our neighbors to solve a problem,” said Sells, who is also associate dean for The Research Center for Arts and Culture the Office of Community Outreach and Education in Columbia’s School of the Arts. “The Elder Artists’ Legal Resource helps fill a void.”
The tool was designed based on the feedback of artists from the Research Center for Arts and Culture’s ART CART: SAVING THE LEGACY, a project begun at Columbia and now part of the National
Center for Creative Aging in Washington, D.C., and from Westbeth Artists’ Housing, which provides affordable living and working spaces for artists and their families in New York City.
Columbia Law School Clinical Professor Conrad Johnson, co-director of the Lawyering in the Digital Age Clinic with Professor Mary Marsh Zulack and Director of Education Technology Brian Donnelly, said he was surprised to find that an online artists’ estate-planning tool did not exist previously. He said the Elder Artists’ Legal Resource helps fill an important niche—not only for artists, but also for their family and friends. “This isn’t just for elder artists,” Johnson said. “This is for the people who are going to care for their estates, such as family members and loved ones.”
The website is written in plain language and provides simple templates for creating an inventory. The site offers information for visual artists who want to understand the estate-planning process, gain access to valuable resources, or prepare to engage legal services. “Time after time, a life’s work ends up in the trash because it’s too complicated or expensive to do anything about it,” Johnson said. “This is a free, one-stop starting point for estate planning.”
The Elder Artists’ Legal Resource website is a unique collaboration among Columbia Law School’s Lawyering in the Digital Age Clinic, the City University of New York Elder Law Clinic, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, and the Research Center for Arts and Culture at the National Center for Creative Aging. The collaboration extends work begun by ART CART to document older artists’ work. Columbia Law School’s Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts also collaborated on the project.
More information at: http://www.ElderArtistsLegalResource.org
Now in her late 60s, Carmen Torruella-Quander says, “This project has made me see that what I do is important….ART CART has opened people’s eyes to what artists DO.”
A painter based in Washington DC, Carmen is talking about ART CART: SAVING THE LEGACY, an inter-generational, interdisciplinary project created by the Research Center for Arts and Culture at the National Center for Creative Aging. The project, which began in 2010, is on its way to a national rollout. ART CART matches teams of advanced students in the arts, health and aging with professional visual artists age 62+ to help document their work and save our national legacy — a legacy of the Civil Rights movement, the women’s movement, the history of the country.