Aging with Attitude
"This exhibit is a public entry point for the community to discuss issues of aging," says exhibit curator Renuka Uthappa, of the Blueprint for Aging, which is sponsoring the show. The Blueprint is a collaborative effort of citizens and agencies working to improve the quality of life for older adults in Washtenaw County. Participants are keenly aware that our population is aging and that we need new ways of thinking about and incorporating older people into society. "Aging is not something everybody likes to talk about," says Uthappa. "This exhibit is a gentle way to approach the topic and start up a conversation."
In addition to the invited artists, the show will include a juried selection of works from local artists. The call for submissions sought work that "challenges and expands perceptions of aging" without necessarily seeking to "dispel a particular stereotype." A third element will be drawings by elementary school students responding to the prompt "Me, when I am old." Uthappa was looking forward to seeing the students' creations, and she joked that maybe they will draw people around age thirty.
But that would add another layer to the conversation. "We need to think of aging as everybody's issue," she says, "not just what you start thinking about after you turn a certain age."
Aging with Attitude runs March 7-28 at Slusser Gallery in the U-M School of Art and Design.