Thursday, August 31, 2017

Mobile Art Program Celebrates 10 Years of Service to the Austin Community

The Mobile Art Program (MAP) is celebrating its 10th anniversary of providing free art activities to older adults in Austin. Envisioned by Theresa Zelazny, this program has helped hundreds of people living in residential facilities or at home with care partners to explore their creative minds through art-making and socialization. Most recently, we completed a six-week class that was conducted over the phone by VSA Texas teaching artist Mark Morrow. Fifteen women signed up to participate and we mailed them individual packets with lesson plans and materials to make six diverse works of art. Once a week, they got on the phone (courtesy of Family Eldercare, our program partner) and talked about their art and used the time to get to know each other a little better. This is the third year of this project and it is a big hit! And it is a great way to engage adults who may not be able to leave their homes very easily. Some of their work will be displayed on MAP Austin's Facebook page very soon!

Found object collage inspired by the work of Joseph Cornell by Charlotte Berman, a student in the Mobile Art Lifetime Connections Without Walls art class

This Fall, we have two exhibits planned that we are very excited about. The first one will feature artwork by Austin residents who have been making art through Austin’s HACA “Living Well! Collaboration” with Family Eldercare. Mobile Art teaching artists have been conducting classes at eight Austin Housing Authority locations. We are proud to display some of the resulting artwork at the Cepeda Branch of Austin Public Library, 651 N. Pleasant Valley Rd. from September 1-28, 2017. There will be an artist reception from 10am – 12pm Saturday, September 9th.

Our other exhibit, “Exploration: New Art by Older Adults” is in partnership with Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA), and it will run from September 15 – December 31, 2017. VSA Texas promoted a call for art from artists aged 55 and older and requested that if they were an experienced artist, they work in a new medium. And we encouraged emerging artists to apply. This was a brand new endeavor for Mobile Art as they have always exhibited work by participants in their classes. Hosting a call for art to feature professional and/or emerging older adult artists brings a new perspective to the classes we promote and gives the general public an opportunity to experience and enjoy the perspectives of our older citizens.

"Summer," acrylic on canvas by Carmen Cartiness Johnson on display at ABIA

We are happy to say we will feature the work of nine artists at the airport and here is what one of them, Marty Allen, has to say:
“In 2011, I was diagnosed with lupus, sjogrens and celiac in addition to macular degeneration so focus on my art work continues to be limited. However despite these inconveniences, I am thrilled to say that so far I have been commissioned in both the United States and Ireland for my colored pencil portraits and my watercolors.
“And now, with determination I am turning my attention back to my real passion…oil painting.
“Armed with my artistic determination I suppose you could say, I love to explore, create, and try new things so you will rarely ever see me paint the same thing twice. To me, there are far too many interesting shapes, objects and people and it would be boring to paint the same thing over and over again; that is why you will find my art work subjects to be wide and varied, from landscapes to animals, to flowers and people. You might also say that anything that connects with me will be painted in some way, but what brings me the most pleasure is being able to express God’s beauty, which is all around us, even in the ordinary.
“While it is my intention to continue painting as long as I can, who knows what my next artistic adventure will be, that for me, is still yet to be discovered.”

"Castle Boat Landing, Kilkenny, Ireland," a watercolor by Marty Allen on display at ABIA

Getting to know the MAP teaching artists has been a real pleasure this year for the VSA Texas staff, and we look forward to ten more years of making art together!

No comments:

Post a Comment