Age and Creation

A practice journal of creative experience and aging

Featured Artist: Kathy Smith

A profile photo of Kathy SmithKathy Smith is a professional musician, artist, and facilitator who currently specializes in education and community development with older adults.

As the director of CreativeAge Network and lead facilitator of the virtual art studio project for Seniors Art Link, Kathy has found inspiration and exciting challenges while launching and growing online, creative, and lifelong-learning communities for older adults.

Kathy hosts a weekly two-hour online session for creative older adults to learn from one another. An important aspect of Kathy’s workshops is her dual role as both the instructor as well as a member of a
community of creative older adults.

Why “just for seniors”? Kathy says:

I'm very protective of the group and community space. When we talk about creative writing or life story collage, our participants often disclose life expediences around parenting, family problems, ageism and even elder abuse.

Its extremely important that the community space is protected while the core group members share and bond. Privacy and confidentiality always come up as a concern when we talk about what's important to the group. We kept hearing the phrase "like-minded seniors." Some seniors groups might prefer to be inter-generational, but our community has always been identified as a seniors community."

A capture of the gallery view of a Zoom teleconference call showing nine participants in an online art-making workshop. Kathy Smith is shown facilitating, and six participants are holding up the collage they made.

Kathy was the facilitator of one stream of the Summer of 2022 direct[message] online art series, sharing historical context, personal passion, live instruction, and materials for collage practice with other older adults.