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Aging is constant. Everything and everyone ages. Some are given a brief time on this earth while others can live for decades. Aging has significant impacts on society and family systems. Different cultures express age differently not only in the ways age is counted but in the ways aging is defined. Depending on cultural and personal philosophy, aging is seen as undesirable phenomenon, reducing beauty and bringing one to death’s door; or as an accumulation of wisdom, a mark of survival and a status worthy of respect.
How do we define aging – it is chronological? Biological? Maybe social or spiritual. How do you know you have aged? Do you participate in a ritual, graduating from a certain grade, attaining a specific goal or birthday? And do you age gracefully or triumphantly? Resentfully? Reluctantly?
This fine art exhibit is challenging both the artist and the viewer to explore, celebrate and contemplate the process of aging. Children may expand their thoughts about what “old” is and what it means to age. Older adults will reflect on what it means to have aged, their relevance to themselves and to their communities. Hopefully, all participants will gain a deeper appreciation of aging; that aging does have a purpose.