Senior Artists at MoMA

Senior visitors to The Museum of Modern Art’s Prime Time: Keeping in Touch (until April 10) can see some innovative artworks…and they can register on April 3 to take a unique workshop and create their own to hang on its walls next time.

Thanks to Prime Time, a unique program of MoMA, Senior Planet members (along with people from similar service organizations across New York City) used their imagination and tech tools to engage in in-depth art making, using their personal interests and experiences, and related to artists’ work on view at MoMA.  It’s well known that creating art is more than creative release; art therapy is an accepted tool to alleviate many conditions; one recent study actually suggests prescribing art courses to improve wellbeing; another, the “Creativity & Aging Study,” detailed huge psychological, physical, and emotional health benefits for adults over 65 who participated in weekly art programs.

The artworks on display at MoMA (and at the Senior Planet Exploration Center in Chelsea) come from the Spring 2017 Prime Time  workshop at Senior Planet: “Between Two Worlds: Modern Art and Technology.” Guided by MoMA educator and artist Kirstin Broussard, participants used their imaginations and traditional art media, augmented with iPads and apps, to create the artworks.

Art and iPads

Prime Time: Keeping in Touch demonstrates that technology can augment creativity in fine art, using three categories inspired by iconic modern artists:  The Extended Line, Language as Art, and Painting With Light.

The pieces in The Extended Line series (inspired by artists like Francis Picabia and Dorthea Rockburne) explored the expressive quality of line. Participants used various materials – vellum, colored tape, charcoal, and pastels – to create line drawings, and transformed them with iPads (lent to members for the workshop) and the Amaziograph app into spectacular, entirely new works.

Here’s an example of how the Amaziograph app works:

The simple alphabet was the source material for the Language as Art category (modelled on art by Jasper Johns and Mira Schedel) as students made “alphabet” collages that explored language and letters as a visual form. They used iPads and the Fragment app to further alter the images. Senior Planet member William Morris, who took part in the Spring 2017 MoMA workshop, says that process was his favorite. “Everybody had their own vision,” he says, adding, “what was so startling is that you wouldn’t even know people started with the same alphabet.” Here’s what Fragment can do with a simple photo:

In Painting With Light, Students viewed works by photographer Penelope Umbrico and Fauvist André Derain. Using iPads and the Fotoloop app, they created photographic “paintings.”  The Fotoloop app mimics processing “errors” common in early photography – such as double exposure – to employ painterly techniques within a digital art-making process. Students even went to one of New York City’s local parks to take their own photographs, which they then manipulated using the app.

 What’s next in iPad Art in Prime Time

The next installment of Prime Time will be offered at Senior Planet’s Exploration Center this Spring, again taught by MoMA educator and visual artist Kirstin Broussard and will emphasize photography and self portraiture.

“Using iPads and Apps as well as analogue techniques, participants will construct a multi-faceted series of self portraits exploring perspective, perception and the seductive power of photographs as objects of both truth and illusion,” says Broussard, noting that new painting and drawing Apps will be introduced.  “These classes are for anyone interested in learning about modern art and exploring their own creative potential,” Broussard says. “My goals are to have fun, expand everyone’s horizons artistically and intellectually, to inspire a sense of play and creativity and to create a sense of warmth and community.”

Space is limited in the MoMA workshop, but there are other creative courses, workshops and events at the Senior Planet Exploration Center. Senior Planet member and trainer Arthur Fornari, a visual artist, says keeping up with what’s new is a vital part of adapting to change as a natural and healthy process. “Creativity with a positive attitude doesn’t need to end as we age,” he says. “Using the context of life experience as we get older gives us the advantage of wisely choosing what, when, where, why and how to integrate the new, technology included, into our lives to remain actively engaged.”

For More Information

  • Learn about Senior Planet’s MoMA workshop at the Center’s Course Information Fair, Friday, 3/30 from 11am – 2pm
  • Registration for the MoMA workshop is on Tuesday, 4/3 at the Exploration Center; doors open at 10am and registration will begin at 10:15
  • Registration is first come first serve;  we recommend arriving early to hold a place in line.
  • The workshop runs April 10 – May 10, Tuesdays & Thursdays, 3:00pm – 4:15pm




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