Creative Aging is a centerpiece of The Phillips Collection’s art and wellness initiatives, reflecting founder Duncan Phillips’s belief in the profound and positive impact that art can have on our well-being. For the past 12 years, during the Creative Aging partnership, The Phillips Collection and Iona Senior Services have brought “joy-giving and life-enhancing” experiences through art to older adults living with memory loss.
The monthly program takes place at the museum and Iona’s two adult day centers, the Wellness & Arts Center in Tenleytown and the Washington Home Center in Congress Heights. In the museum galleries, Phillips educators facilitate conversations through observation and inquiry, encouraging older adults to explore works of art, share ideas, identify feelings, connect with one another, and celebrate the present moment. The participants explore themes such as identity, family, home, food, community, music, and nature. Later at Iona, in the art studio, guided by Phillips and Iona staff, individuals respond to the museum’s artworks and exhibitions using the creative process in visual art, poetry, music, dance, and storytelling, deepening connections to the artwork and each other.
This exhibition celebrates the transformative powers of art and artmaking for older adults living with memory loss. As one participant stated, “Art gathers us up.”
IMAGE: Silk hoops made by Creative Aging participants, inspired by Linling Lu’s Soundwaves