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Trojan Family Weekend marked the launch of the Leonard Davis School of Gerontology’s new Creativity and Aging Initiative.  Engaging USC faculty, staff, students, and community members, the Creativity and Aging Initiative will host events to celebrate and explore the achievements of older artists, musicians, writers, actors, and dancers, as well as link to research and academics.

The opening event, The Ageless Artist: Art Fair and Exhibit, filled the Leonard Davis courtyard and lobby with work from 10 seasoned artists ranging from quilts, jewelry, furniture, prints, paintings, and fabric arts.

“I am delighted that we are able to showcase the creativity of artists of all ages,” said Leonard Davis School dean, Pinchas Cohen.  “In gerontology, we examine the concepts of lifespan and healthspan, and through this initiative, we will explore our creativity span.”

Highlighting the notion that artists are not restricted by age, and in turn often enriched by it, The Ageless Artist also included the inaugural exhibit of the Sophie Davis Art Gallery, established by a generous donation from Alan Davis, son of the School’s namesake.  The first of many rotating exhibits, it includes the expressive and thought-provoking work of Mary Lou Dauray and Orna Makleff.

The event concluded with the presentation, Creativity and Aging: Unlocking the Artist Within at Any Age.  It included a discussion by USC Leonard Davis Assistant Professor Tara Gruenewald on the importance to older adults of generativity – or their ability to make positive contributions to their communities. Dauray and Makleff shared words of wisdom to encourage Trojan parents, grandparents, and students that it is never too late to explore their creative side.  Highlighting how easy it is to dive into art making, USC Architecture professor, artist, and furniture designer Miller Fong demonstrated an app for iPhones and iPads. Called Artrage, the app can help unleash the inner artist in all of us – allowing users to draw and paint with their finger or stylus.  Writer and artist Dr. Francine Toder ended the presentation with inspiring recommendations from her book, The Vintage Years – Finding Your Inner Artist.

In the New Year, the Leonard Davis School of Gerontology’s Creativity and Aging Initiative will sponsor additional events and develop new endeavors in its research and academics. The Sophie Davis Art Gallery is open to the public during the School’s operating hours.


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