New art gallery at One Senior Place awakens, inspires and connects the community with the valuable contributions of older adults.

OPENING NIGHT - Doyen GalleryOne Senior Place’s newest resident business, the non-profit Creative Care Association (CCA) and their sponsor, Compass Research, unveil an innovative new art gallery in February with an eye-opening exhibit schedule for the year ahead. Doyen Gallery will display original art showcasing the importance of creative expression in older adults (baby boomers and retirees) – respectfully called “third-age” individuals by the CCA team. Upcoming exhibits feature under-explored subjects such as late-in-life tattoos, life and humor in the hospice care journey, and memory-generating paintings of people with dementia.

This unique addition to Central Florida’s growing art community opens with a mission to defy age-based stereotypes and provoke inter-generational connections. Inspired by a growing cultural movement to embrace elders and find value in their long life experience, CCA’s founder and gallery director, Linda Taylor, found a way to drive that cause forward. “Art has always provoked awareness and progress. It’s a great way to break down barriers and change our cultural biases about aging.” she said.

As a financial planner for caregivers and former caregiver for her deceased father, Taylor sees how a center like One Senior Place effects positive change in the lives of seniors and their families. Familiar with the isolation of older people when mental and physical decline sets in, she says people often lack empathy and understanding about those aging challenges. “Even in the sunset years, there is still so much life, knowledge, and wisdom our third-age population has to share with us. It’s valuable to younger people and validates older ones who think their experience doesn’t matter anymore. In fact, this is the time it’s most significant.” The gallery will provide ongoing opportunities to engage with youth and teach the value of elder interaction. CCA organizers hope it provokes an understanding and empathy among generations that has been long embraced by other cultures worldwide.

One of the highly anticipated displays is the Memories in the Making exhibit in late May. While hosting this Alzheimer’s Association art program at One Senior Place, Teresa Risner (a long-term care advisor) realized how essential creative activities are for improving a person’s quality of life. This weekly activity helps memory challenged families communicate and maintain social connections through painting. Risner notes that even though spectators are impressed at the quality of artwork produced by new advanced age artists, those who actually see it are few and far between. She keenly observes, “The art world tends to follow the cultural norm of avoiding the subject of aging. Meanwhile, art has great capacity for expanding our views of the world. Why aren’t we showing it off?”

Don Kramer, owner of One Senior Place, is enthusiastic about their new addition. “We are pleased and honored that CCA chose this location for the Doyen Gallery. We know seniors can feel invisible in our hectic, youth-oriented society. This turns that situation on its head by celebrating the richness of experience and vision exclusive to those who have lived a long life.” Another fan is the gallery sponsor, Compass Research, a clinical research site which shapes global advancements in advanced age treatments and medication. Spokesperson, Ashley Mathis expressed appreciation for the new venture and a mission which closely aligns with their own. “We look forward to supporting our local seniors with a place to continue finding their own creative expression and display new skills.”

Doyen Gallery celebrates its launch with an opening night reception and preview of upcoming exhibits on Saturday, February 11th at One Senior Place in Altamonte Springs. Guests and artists are invited to come and celebrate with food, music and plenty of art. Space is limited for the event, and pre-registration is required. To register for the reception or obtain additional information about future exhibits, visit CCA’s website at CreativeCareAssociation.org.

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One Senior Place is a comprehensive, one-stop resource with access to information, advice, guidance and services for seniors. Not only are a variety of businesses available in one location, but educational seminars, complimentary consultations with an Aging Services Expert, and a senior resource library are also available to help you find what you are looking for. To find out more, call 407-949-6733.