Artwork by participants in teaching artist Carol Siegel’s program at Alexandria Adult Day Services Center (AADSC) was exhibited in the Vola Lawson lobby of Alexandria’s City Hall from June 8 to June 29. A celebration of the exhibition took place in the City Hall lobby on Tuesday, June 21. Special guests included the artists from AADSC and their family members, AADSC staff members, AFTA trustees, and supporters of creative aging and the arts.
We were honored to have Alexandria’s mayor Allison Silberberg give opening remarks. Mayor Silberberg underscored the value of the cooperation between AFTA and AADSC in making a difference in the lives of Alexandria residents who are aging. Speaking to the artists in attendance, the Mayor also expressed her gratitude for their contributions to art and the City.
Artist Karla K. said of the portraiture, “When Carol said we were going to do a study of self-portraits, we all moaned and groaned! I was scared to look that closely at the old person I’d become. But as we drew one after another, it became easier to see the beauty of aging. Art is a powerful expression of who we are, appreciating our lives and our loves.”
AFTA’s partnership with AADSC spans almost two decades, and Siegel’s connection with the participants and staff at the center has strengthened into a deep bond. Participants feel comfortable sharing what is in their hearts within the safe space of the expressive arts group. Says Judith M., “When Carol comes, I am very happy. This is the only place I have the opportunity to enjoy and express myself in art.” The exhibition included a series of self-portraits, and selections from AFTA’s Dream Ship collection, which showed at the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery in Washington last winter.