Artwork by City’s Elder Community to Be Featured at San Francisco’s City Hall

SFAC Galleries partners with Art With Elders for a Group Exhibition on the Ground Floor and North Light Court of City Hall

A colorful painting of a tiger and eagle battling in a mountainous region

Tiger and Eagle’s War, by Kekun Ouyang, Oak Center Towers, Courtesy of Art With Elders

SAN FRANCISCO, January 19, 2023—The San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) Art in City Hall program, in partnership with Art With Elders (AWE), are proud to present The Power of Creativity and Community, an exhibition that showcases over 90 original paintings and drawings made by seniors participating in the Art With Elders program from forty programming sites and community partners located throughout San Francisco and the Bay Area.

The Power of Creativity and Community, opens on February 2, 2023 and will be on display at City Hall’s Ground Floor and North Light Court through August 25, 2023.

The exhibition is organized in four groups: artworks selected for the AWE 30th Annual Exhibit and AWE Over the Years: Works from the AWE Archive, as well as artworks created by artists participating in the AWE Senior Bridge Project: Mental Health and Social Connection and in classes at Laguna Honda Hospital. The Power of Creativity and Community celebrates the many artists who have participated in the program by sharing their incredible artwork and their creative voice. Each work is accompanied with a portrait of the artist and information about their life and practice.

Art With Elders was founded in 1991 and has brought creativity and connection to 12,000 older adults in 75 senior communities across the Bay Area through free or low-cost art classes. Weekly art classes are at the core of AWE’s work, providing the opportunity for elders to flex latent artistic talents, as well as to connect participants with other members of the community. AWE also organizes exhibitions that take place all around the Bay Area, to showcase the extraordinary work by these elder artists.

SFAC Galleries has partnered with Art With Elders on two previous occasions for exhibitions at City Hall, once in 2001 and again in 2012.

“The San Francisco Arts Commission is honored to once again partner with Art With Elders for this joyous exhibition that allows us to engage and uplift members of our elder community in ways that empower creativity, builds community and fosters a sense of pride about the journey of aging,” said Ralph Remington, Director of Cultural Affairs. “Each program participant has a unique story to tell, and I am thrilled we are able to showcase their work as part of our Art in City Hall program while providing a space for these artists to share their rich and lived history with us all.”

“Over the past three decades, Art With Elders has engaged thousands of older adults in fine arts classes in addition to sharing their work and life experience through public exhibits. These classes and exhibits create vital opportunities for self-expression that renew both individual and social vitality,” said Mark H. Campbell, Executive Director of Art With Elders. “While encouraging and maintaining life-affirming community connections, AWE remains a powerful tool in the fight against social isolation by empowering our too-often disenfranchised elders to be seen and heard.”

“For over thirty years, Laguna Honda Hospital residents have enjoyed the creative and therapeutic outlet of Art With Elders. We are grateful to Mark Campbell, Program Director for AWE at Laguna Honda, for creating a space that brings our community joy, healing, and self-expression and to the many Laguna Honda artists for sharing their extraordinary talents with us all,” said Dr. Grant Colfax, San Francisco Director of Health. “We are grateful for the San Francisco Arts Commission for the opportunity to spotlight Laguna Honda resident artists and bring their work to more audiences.”

Exhibition Details
The Power of Creativity and Community
February 2 – August 25, 2023
San Francisco City Hall
Ground Floor and North Light Court
1 Dr. Carlton B Goodlett Place, San Francisco, CA 94102
Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Free and open to the public

Public Opening Reception Details
Thursday, February 2, 5 – 7 p.m.
San Francisco City Hall, North Light Court
1 Dr. Carlton B Goodlett Place, San Francisco, CA 94102
No reservation required. Free and open to the public

Public Programs
The Role of the Arts in Building Social Connection
Saturday, April 1, 12 – 2 pm

SFAC Main Gallery, Veterans Building
401 Van Ness Ave #125, San Francisco, CA 94102

Art With Elders program participants discuss their experiences moving from isolation to connection by engaging in group creative practice. 

Inclusivity and Accessibility: San Francisco Cares 
Tuesday, May 23, 12 – 2 pm
SFAC Main Gallery, Veterans Building
401 Van Ness Ave #125, San Francisco, CA 94102

Senior service providers from San Francisco discuss successes and challenges regarding outreach and programming for seniors and people with disabilities.

SFDPH Laguna Honda Hospital: Hidden Healthcare Gem
Tuesday, July 11, 12 – 2pm
SFAC Main Gallery, Veterans Building
401 Van Ness Ave #125, San Francisco, CA 94102

Art With Elders reflects on its 25-year partnership with Laguna Honda Hospital which has consistently celebrated creativity in its care of San Francisco’s most vulnerable seniors.
 

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About Art With Elders
Fighting elder isolation since 1991, AWE has brought creativity and connection to 12,000 older adults in 75 senior communities through free/low-cost fine arts classes. AWE programs provide older adults from all walks of life with a vehicle for self-expression, social connection, and a presence in the community. Our work to empower elders to imagine and create bears witness to our belief that every person has a right to cultivate and experience a meaningful sense of purpose, accomplishment, and joy throughout the entirety of their life. To learn more, visit artwithelders.org.

About the San Francisco Arts Commission
The San Francisco Arts Commission is the City agency that champions the arts as essential to daily life by investing in a vibrant arts community, enlivening the urban environment and shaping innovative cultural policy. Our programs include: Civic Art Collection, Civic Design Review, Community Investments, Public Art, SFAC Galleries, and Art Vendor Licensing. To learn more, visit sfartscommission.org.

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