Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. Pablo Picasso ~
beach stones stacked on her windowsill Picasso’s ode to the young-at-heart artist
Yesterday I happily attended a celebration of programs that brought together diversity, a collaborative intergenerational participation and youth mural projects. These workshop/programs inspired youth and seniors to connect through artful play, get engaged in the community library and foster a positive environment for collaboration amongst a diverse group of local residents. I was one of the teaching artists in the Intergenerational Art Program. It was a heartwarming and delightful experience and as in all “teaching” opportunities–the teacher gets to learn from the students. From the eldest senior at a spirited 92 years to the youngest at a mature 11 years, the international as well as intergenerational group came together to connect, discuss diversity and create art together. Through round-table stories and imaginative artwork, the different generations and nationalities learned about one another’s cultures and traditions and formed meaningful relationships. They also bonded on their many commonalities to form lifetime friendships and inspire one another. It truly was an antidote to all the fear of people “who don’t look or act like us.”
At the same time, all the participants took risks with their artwork and vanquished the fear of “not good enough” or “I can’t draw'” demons. It took a little coaxing, especially with the senior generation, but once they let go of what art is supposed to look like–they had the most fun and appreciation of their creations. A new art gallery was set up in the local library which will be an ongoing showcase for the residents’ artwork and stories.
Sponsors of the program include: LIFE Center Stage, Friends of the Butler Library, and Morris Arts–all of New Jersey. Special thanks to Vicky Mulligan of LIFE Center Stage, visionary, friend and wise woman of the tribe for inviting me to participate, take risks and stretch beyond my own limits.
She is elated when I feel down,
crazy when I feel sane,
and knows just what to say
to make everyone laugh and smile –
while I grimace inside each time
someone mangles my name.
Her hair looks windstorm-wonderful when mussed
and un-fussed. Mine falls limp or bedhead-
crinkled at best straight out of the salon.
She curves the air in sky-high stilettos.
I can trip, turn an ankle, ouch and flatten
my arches on flip flops instead.
Wearing a bathing suit, my Alter Ego
bikinis bumps in all the right places – only a Spanx
gruesome girdling wet suit now fits my spaces.
Texting and Instagram eats up her wit and charm.
I try to “tweet on You Tube a Google” long as my arm.
Her Facebook friends multiply like flowers in Spring –
I have a loyal thirty two-ish I’m just guessing.
Despite all of this, we are forever best friends.
She inspires, entertains and imagines herself
into the aha of my life. My Alter Ego dresses for success,
lives for happiness and is the spice of my life.
She is my heroine, soulmate, and close confidant.
Honestly, after all, this for sure I know – she needs me too,
for I am just as much her Alter Ego.
ag ~ 2015
Sometimes it creeps in
between the sheets
other times on the arm of a trombone
bluesy and boozy or
fireside and crackling sober.
It leads into
Van Gogh’s blue bedroom
with the walls and floorboards
all askew and naked
assumptions of sanity.
There in his room
Vincent felt it too.