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By Susan Kujawa
Posted: 02/26/2023

Conversations with Art: African American Artists pre 1960

As part of Black History month, Pasadena Village invited noted arts enrichment facilitator, Helane Rheingold, to speak on a “Conversation with Art”.   Her presentation included an exploration of early African American artists, such as Henry Ossawa Tanner (1859-1937), Horace Pippin (1888-1946), and Lois Mailou Jones (1905-1998).

A live audience of 25 people, including both Village members and others from the community, gathered for the presentation.  Helane guided us through selected works of art, and shared techniques on how to look at, interpret, and analyze them.

The program was part of the Pasadena Village’s Creative Aging Initiative.  This initiative provides opportunities for older adults to share their values, experiences, and reflections with each other, using various artistic media.  The initiative is designed to engage older adults who may face significant barriers to successful aging-in-place, including BIPOC, LGBTQ, and lower income people.

Village member Laura Guillory was especially pleased with the program.  “I went to Howard University and was able to listen to lectures by the artist Lois Mailou Jones, so this was very meaningful to me.  I liked the way Helane interpreted the meanings of the paintings and shared information about the background of the lives of the artists.”

Village member Lora Harrington-Pride added, “This sort of program rejuvenates me.  After I retired, I sort of disappeared into the walls of my house.  With programs like this, Pasadena Village has brought me out of my shell.”

Pasadena Village members can look forward to more such programs in the future as part of our Creative Aging Series.


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