I love reading a blog I subscribe to and get in my Email. It is from EngAGE. It is an organization based in Southern California that has created housing for older adults and runs all kinds of enrichment classes at their complexes. At their North Hollywood complex they have a full theatre available for the residents who can get involved in producing their own plays. In addition they have this uplifting blog to combat ageism. It features older adults doing all kinds of creative things. Senior Planet.org is another organization I love. They often feature similar articles as EngAGE and they discuss issues that impact older adults.
There are so many inspiring stories. One that was sent to me recently from EngAGE was about Carmen Herrera. She is an artist who was “discovered” at age 89 and now at age 99 her work is being featured at a famous museum and gallery. She is still working at age 99. I am sharing this information from the EngAGE blog and other articles about her. Here is one from the Guardian and another one here. Her art is now to be shown at The Whitney Museum Of American Art and the Lisson Gallery.
When I first read about Carmen Herrera I said fantastic! Here is an artist who is still creating. I love these stories about older people and their spirit to continue to create. Artists, writers, musicians often can all continue practicing their craft as long as they want. This inspires me and I envy them in that they have this wonderful work.
An alarming bit of information came up about women artists. I also get a newsletter from Hyperallergic.com which is about art. I read an essay “The Problem of the Overlooked Female Artist” by Ashton Cooper talking about how women and minority artists for many years were held back by a white male dominated art world. Or at least an art world that only respected white male artists. This is so disheartening to me. I did not realize this was again another field where this discrimination was going full force. Carmen Herrera mentions it in the interview above. How she was denied a show in a gallery because she was a woman. I don’t know how these artists did not completely despair. The essay from Hyperallergic links to several other articles on this topic of “overlooked” women artists. The author suggests the story of these artists lives should be explored in more depth to shine a light on what it was like to face this discrimination and how they coped with it all through the years before they were finally recognized. Some died before being recognized.
Carmen Herrera via Frederico Seve Gallery:
And from The Smithsonian: