Expressions Calendar – How It All Began

Typically in May, Watermark communities showcase resident artwork in exhibitions coast to coast. These shows result in communities’ submissions to Expressions, Watermark’s award-winning calendar celebrating active aging and the arts. 2020 will mark our 20th edition of this calendar, which is already well underway thanks to our community life teams. The 2020 calendars will be coming your way by the first of December. Read about how it all began.

EXPRESSIONS 2020 – A Retrospective

The number 2020 is auspicious for a few reasons.

  • 2020 vision is said to be perfect, hence the expression “hindsight is 2020.” For example, “if I’d known how much fun it is to live here, I would have moved in sooner.”
  • 2020 also just happens to be Watermark’s address on Rudasill Road in Tucson. A coincidence? 100%.
  • Now the year 2020 is coming up, also marking the 20th edition of Watermark’s Expressions calendar.  So let’s take a look back.


The idea for Watermark’s first Expressions calendar came to light across the street from Watermark’s headquarters, at The Fountains at La Cholla (Watermark’s first community). That’s where we first met resident Maurice Cunliffe, a clever fellow with a charming British accent, glasses and mustache. Adding to his intrigue, we discovered his hobby was building ships inside bottles.

With 12 communities in our fold at that time, Maurice was not the only resident with an interesting hobby.  Wanting to showcase our view of aging through the lens of possibility, we set out to photograph them with their creations, a project that resulted in our first custom calendar in 1999. We were so proud, that is until one of our residents in Bellevue, Washington was good enough to tell us, “It’s a nice calendar, but who wants to look at all those old people?”

There it was: The same ageism we were trying to quash was staring us back in the face. Where we saw our beautiful residents with their proud creations, all they could see was wrinkles.

Back to the drawing board we went and – listening to our residents – we focused on their artwork in the next year’s calendar, our first edition of Expressions. The year was 2000 and the whole world was turning a page on time. We welcomed the new millennium celebrating the attitude that each of us can contribute much to the world, regardless of our age.

Twenty years later, we’re still celebrating the fact that Watermark residents are creating their own best futures every day, from a varied palette of choices and opportunities at their fingertips. Some choose to express themselves through art, others through music and yet others through mentorship or simply by being a good friend.

Together, we are creating extraordinary and innovative communities where people thrive.  Thank you for being a part of the creation.

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