Elder Artwork

Creative Arts with Older Adults coverCreative Arts with Older Adults: A Sourcebook
Weisberg and Wilder, Eds.

Submitter: Found in the stack of this public library – It’s not truly awful, but it is old and uninspiring. The photos are poor and the image/printing quality is terrible if you’re BIPOC. I also think we have moved away from the term Geriatric.

Holly: Sometimes books like these can be downright condescending, when older adults may well be master artists. I do understand that physical conditions related to aging can affect one’s ability to make creative arts, even if they had high-level skills at any point in their lives. However, the first page below suggests making everyone aware of everyone else’s disabilities so that they’re all sensitive to each others’ needs – which is something I would NEVER do. It’s no one’s business unless they choose to share that information, and really irrelevant to making art. I learned recently about process art vs. product art from a Youth Librarian job interviewee, and that would work well in this situation. It’s about not trying to make your final product look like a sample by following set instructions, but rather expressing yourself through the process of making whatever art you come up with from the tools available.




  1. My poor vision saw “A Songbook” instead of “A Sourcebook”. That could have been fun.

  2. Nobody says “geriatric” any more. Except maybe in the practice of medicine? And 65 isn’t that old — you can’t even get Social Security at that age these days, and lots of 65 year olds are still working full-time. The people in high-end retirement communities are partying like frat boys.

    Pretty sure this was condescending even in 1985. My grandma played hymns for Sunday services in her nursing home even after her Alzheimer’s was fairly advanced. Had no idea who I was, but by golly she could still bang out “Onward Christian Soldiers” perfectly.

  3. My mother and stepfather are 77 and 80 respectively. They are both prolific painters who have had shows in art galleries. She would say “Huh!” and give a disapproving look to the book’s author. He would say something funny and very cutting.

    As for the dance therapy bit? Yeah, any movements that require coordination and concentration would make me fall over. I’m 46 and clumsy.

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