Art shows that ‘creativity is ageless’

The upcoming art show at Merrill Gardens will run from June 6-28

  • Thursday, May 30, 2019 8:30am
  • Opinion

By Penny Kahn

Special to the Reporter

Grandma Moses started painting in earnest after retiring from farming at 78 years old. Georgia O’Keefe was painting some of her best work into her 90s, even with macular degeneration.

Creativity is indeed ageless.

The Kirkland Senior Council and the city of Kirkland prove this yearly at their art show, “Creativity is Ageless,” located in the lobby at Merrill Gardens, 14 Main St. S. in downtown Kirkland. With more than 60 pieces of art on display, this year’s 11th annual event features oil and acrylic paintings, watercolors, pastels, drawings, sculpture, photography, quilts and other media. Adults older than 50 are encouraged to enter their work.

Ruth Russell, 86, has shown her work at the event for years. She works in oil and enjoys doing portraits and landscapes, which her husband frames.

“I enjoy the process, from the beginning to the end. It is not important to win a ribbon but compliments about one’s work are always welcome,” Russell said.

The opening night reception, featuring a no-host bar, live music and appetizers, is from 5-7 p.m. on June 6 at Merrill Gardens. Attendees can vote for their favorite works of art in each category and ribbons will be awarded to the winners.

Kirkland resident Marti Bolcer, 76, has entered pottery and sculpture as well as quilts and photography.

“I was born into a family of artists, so creating a work of art in different media is part of my life. The joy of art is capturing the essence of what I see in my head,” Bolcer explained. “Entering something you like is the key. Winning a ribbon is just icing on the cake!”

I have been involved in the art show since the beginning and it is pure joy working with artists to show their work. People who attend the opening night reception are always amazed and pleased to see such beautiful artwork in so many different media in one room.

When I meet artists throughout the year, I encourage them to show their art. Art should be shared and this low-key but fun art show, which lasts until June 28, is a wonderful venue. People unable to come on opening night are encouraged to drop by the Merrill Gardens lobby to view the art when they are in downtown Kirkland, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the week and on weekends.

Kirkland Senior Council started this show 11 years ago because health care workers in the field of gerontology frequently encourage older adults to use art as a way to relax, reduce depression, assist in socialization, increase self-esteem and improve both cognition and sensory stimulation. We think they are right.

Artists can find out more about the show or get an application by calling 425-761-5489.

If you are not an artist but think you could be, check out classes at the Kirkland Parks and Recreation Department at

Coming of Age…Again is edited by the Kirkland Senior Council, a group the city of Kirkland created in 2001 to advocate for older adults in our community. The council is made up of people living or working in Kirkland who want to improve and maintain the quality of life for people in Kirkland as they grow older. Membership is open throughout the year.

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