Sharing knowledge and experience.

Sharing knowledge and experience.

Manuela K., age 70

I am a woman, mother, sister, friend, and artist. I have held diverse jobs in my lifetime, some in the corporate world but primarily in the art field. I have always loved sharing my knowledge and experience with others. 

A few years ago, I was introduced to The Geezer Gallery by an artist friend. This simple gesture opened the perfect opportunity for me to give back and help seniors in our community. My experience as a woman over 60 has been very positive since I am highly involved in working with the public and other artists of diverse ages. I haven’t spent much time thinking about my age until recently when I started becoming concerned about remaining relevant. There is a lot of value in what I can give back and how I can make a difference, not only for myself but also for other fellow humans who have climbed the over 60s wall.

The Geezer Gallery and their mission is in perfect alignment with my personal belief system, mission, and life goal! I work as the of Lead Facilitator with the Therapeutic Arts Program. This program is called Moment to Moment, it is a customized ongoing weekly program dedicated to enhancing the lives of seniors experiencing cognitive challenges and Alzheimer's-type dementia.

Participants do not need to have art experience. Each month we focus on a different artist. We discuss the artist’s background, technique, and use of media. We talk about how they feel about what they are experiencing, do they recall a memory, does a particular color remind them of the ocean, trees, the sky, or a day on a walk with a loved one. The participants then make their own abstract art using collage or watercolors.

The main purpose of the Therapeutic Arts Program / Moment to Moment classes is to offer participants the opportunity to engage with others and communicate ideas and feelings through their artwork. In some cases, people experiencing the loss of cognitive ability and Alzheimer's-type Dementia lose the ability to communicate through the spoken word, in this case art becomes their voice!

It is imperative that our society realize the invaluable gifts we as seniors have to share. This is one of the greatest legacies we can offer our daughters and sons, who in turn can keep giving back to those who will come after them.