Photos by Stephanie Rivera.
Artwork created by and in celebration of senior artists will be on display at the Long Beach Senior Arts Colony through the end of the month.
The exhibit, titled Legacy: A Celebration of Senior Artists, is presented through a collaboration for the first time ever between the nonprofits SCAN, a Long Beach-based Medicare provider, and EngAGE, which provides art programming at the Arts Colony.
The pieces, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints and photography, are reflections of the artists’ personal narratives of aging and independence, according to organizers. It features works from 20 professional and emerging artists living at the Arts Colony and the surrounding area.
Artist Alva McNeal poses with her piece "Rights of Passage".
Alva McNeal is one of those professional artists. The 77-year-old said the only reason why she applied to live at the Arts Colony is because it was listed as an arts community that had the resources she needed to continue making art.
McNeal has four pieces showing, one of which she made specifically for the exhibit. Titled “Rights of Passage,” the piece shows a grandmother and her granddaughter.
Artist Milagro Marroquin poses with her piece "El Nido".
Milagro Marroquin, 81, is showing her piece called “El Nido” (The Nest) in reference to a poem of the same name by Alfredo Espino of El Salvador—where she is originally from.
Marroquin said she never did any art before moving into the Arts Colony four years ago.
“I’ve always liked it but here they gave me a chance to do it,” Marroquin said in Spanish. “I like it because there’s so much art.”
“Our seniors are so incredibly talented,” said First District Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez during an opening reception Thursday night. “This is the true example of what affordable housing can look like for seniors.”
From left to right: Councilwoman Stacy Mungo, Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez, EngAGE Program Director Helen Weinberg, SCAN CEO Chris Wing.
During the reception, which also served as a celebration of the Arts Colony’s fifth anniversary as well as SCAN’s 40th anniversary, SCAN’s CEO Chris Wing announced the donation of a $20,000 grant to support EngAGE with their nutrition and arts programs, which address social isolation.
“Gone are the days when getting older meant you were done growing, learning and contributing. Many seniors today want to take advantage of this time of their lives to discover new talents, express themselves creatively, connect with others and contribute to the vitality of their communities,” Wing previously stated.
The exhibit runs November 17-30. The gallery will be open to the public Monday through Saturday from 10:00AM to 4:00PM. It will be closed Thanksgiving Day.
The Long Beach Senior Arts Colony is located at 200 East Anaheim Street.