The Rumriver Art Center’s new gallery show features work from seniors who participated in the Vitality Arts program.
The exhibit will be open 2-5 p.m., Saturday, June 8, and will continue through Saturday, July 13. The Rumriver Art Center gallery is at 2665 Fourth Ave., Anoka in suite 103A.
“We are very proud and excited to feature the talents of our Vitality Arts students,” Rumriver Art Center Executive Director Larry Weinberg said. “It’s amazing to see the transformations of their abilities and what they have accomplished.”
The Vitality Arts program is in its second year of providing art classes to adults 55 years and older. “Vitality Arts is designed to improve the health and well-being of older adults and provide them with a renewed sense of purpose,” Weinberg said.
The Vitality Arts program at the Rumriver Art Center is being funded by a $25,000 grant from Aroha Philanthropies, a Minneapolis nonprofit that works to improve the quality of life of seniors by encouraging the funding, development and proliferation of arts programs designed to enhance longer lives, and by advancing the development of professional teaching artists working with those in their “encore years.”
Over the last two years, Aroha Philanthropies partnered with the Minnesota State Arts Board to bring their Vitality Arts courses to 15 nonprofits across the metro area to examine how art affects aging adult.
Rumriver Arts Center, which is 501(C)(3) non-profit, were one of the 15 organizations that were chosen. The Rumriver Art Center received a grant from Aroha Philanthropies in 2018 for $17,500 and in 2019 for $25,000.
Prior to the Vitality Arts classes starting, three Rumriver Art Center teachers and three assistants received specialized training from Aroha Philanthropies staff members over two days in Minneapolis, where they learned how to create art programs for aging adults and examined how art affects adults physically and mentality.
“Our teachers connected really well with our students over these eight-week classes, and they developed some amazing bonds,” Weinberg said.
Last year the Rumriver Art Center hosted six, eight-week session in acrylic painting, drawing and clay pottery classes. In April and May 2019 the center hosted three sessions and will do three more in October and November.
“We really wanted to help adults in the community reignite their creative and artistic process,” Weinberg said.
Each eight-week session cost students $75. Afterward, unused supplies were divided up among the students so they could continue making art.
Each Vitality Arts student chose one or two pieces to show at the gallery exhibit.
“We’re so excited our Vitality Arts students get to share their artwork in this new exhibit because they take great pride in their artwork,” Weinberg said. “The gallery gives students a chance to get feedback on their work while they share it with the community, and it gives them an incentive to continue working on the process.”
Weinberg said a few Vitality Arts students have been selected to continue being mentored by artists at the Rumriver Arts Center. “We’re hoping the Vitality Arts sessions will help students continue the creative spark that was ignited in these classes,” Weinberg said.
To learn more about the Rumriver Arts Center, visit rumriverart.com.