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Thursday October 27, 2016
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Aging with Attitude



the multimedia art exhibit Aging with Attitude, at Slusser Gallery this month.

Baltimore artist Faye A. Park's sculpture Savory Mutton as Opposed to Lamb is one of nine works from women artists around the country who are exploring our assumptions about aging and beauty and how our culture perceives and values older people. A sensual pose from a woman with sagging breasts is challenging enough to our cultural norms, but Park adds the humor of a cartoonish sheep to challenge the derogatory evaluation of some older women as "mutton dressed up as lamb." Park explains that mature women "face the challenge of embracing our sensuality without appearing silly."

Other works will include Cynthia Hellyer Heinz's painting of an older woman flying like a wise angel amid ephemeral moths (at right), and one of Helen Redman's "crone" paintings - showing an aging woman's face in all its detail. Judy Cooperman's large photograph of a pair of young hands applying lipstick to an elderly woman's lips asks us to question how long we must succumb to expectations of beauty. Sarah Pike's watercolor of a distant figure, pants pulled down, being helped onto a commode by a younger person forces attention to our concepts of the indignities of old age.

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University of Michigan Museum of Arts