Artists over the age of 55 are now referred to as “Seasoned Citizens” at the Senior Center in Laguna Beach. I can’t help but think of being brined, marinated or dipped in egg, bread crumbs and parmesan cheese! Each spring the center hosts a 55+ show featuring the work of senior-now seasoned- artists. This year’s theme was “Is it Only a Paper Moon?” requesting works made of /or on paper. The results were fascinating.
I’ve done enough watercolors, collages and mixed media pieces to wallpaper my 1500 ft apartment so decided to try something new. Well, not really new…but somewhat. I borrowed a friend’s dress form and whipped up a gown from items purchased at Michael’s craft store…or my cupboard.
I also enlisted the skills and kinetic energy of my “baby” brother, James/Shamus Koch (subject of the documentary also found on this website). Shamus ( he’s referring to his Celtic roots and yearnings) had been welding rebar mini trees and took on the challenge of a life-sized tree that would hold paper moons with prayers/affirmations and wishes on the branches. Voila…his creation became the centerpiece of the show. Along with a lovely welded/glass topped table (that sold immediately) set of astroturf. He hand colored and cut out the moons during a TV basketball game. What a guy!
The ukulele kings and one queen appeared to play songs from the 20s, 30s and 40s…and a show was born. The new Art Director of Gallery Q, Mary Ann Schierholt, is still recovering from what happens during these Gallery Q receptions, but she’s in the groove and keeping her sense of humor as the artists complain about where their work is hung, come in and drop off work or take it off the wall when she’s not there, and dealing with the Laguna folks who come primarily to drink free wine and munch their way through the buffet treats!
The art is a fascinating mix and never fails to bring forth critical comments such as, “What is that supposed to be?” or “How the hell did he/she do that?” or “They want how much for that piece?” Most of the comments are complimentary and kind…and the artists whose egos and creative self worth are on the line, seem excited and pleased to see their work in a beautiful public space. None of us are going to end up in the Getty…but we’re happy to be at the Gallery Q.
Curious about the wishes, prayers and dreams that appeared on the paper moons? Here’s a sampling:
Most wishes were for peace, health and the well being of everyone…or children…or oneself! Many comments about spending more time with family, especially grandchildren.
Many wishes focused on “being in the present,” staying tuned to one’s creativity, creating dreams and then releasing them
Hope that the children of Laguna might be safe, have a home and a “full tummy.”
Then there were those who had specific wishes:
I need a car
I hope I score tonight
I hope I win the lottery!
Pizza pie with extra sauce
Rain, passive income, guidance to my true love, be a ballerina, beating M__in ping pong!!! (note: these were NOT all from the same person).
My advice to the moon wishers comes from an old Russian proverb: “Pray to God…then row to shore.”