More than 80% of AWE students pick up a paintbrush for the first time in an AWE class, and we routinely see and hear from our students how art activates the imagination, improves focus, helps them to see and express things in new ways. Importantly, participants also become part of a supportive group and make new social connections.
AWE serves a diverse group of seniors from across the S.F. Bay Area and beyond. Over 400 seniors participate in 3,000 AWE classes a year. AWE classes are offered at senior centers, senior living communities, skilled nursing facilities, and for those living independently. Classes are available in 5 languages. Art created in classes is exhibited in venues across the S.F. Bay Area and in our online galleries: Annual Exhibits, Traveling Exhibits, Online Exhibits.
“I love to have a paintbrush in my hand and feel I live in another world when I’m painting. Sometimes I think – did I really do that? The paintings I made are my heart and soul and things I love. Art can bring out feelings you didn’t know you had. And best of all you can be yourself. It’s a good feeling to know I am an artist.“
Ruth, age 92
“All change now as every morning when I wake up my head is filled with dreams that need to be expressed. I spend hours manifesting. I am correct, when the student is ready a teacher will present themselves. Now that I need it more than ever before the gift of art has been released inside of me.”
Kered, Openhouse Bob Ross LGBT Senior Center
“I am very happy to be part of AWE’s class here at Lytton Gardens. Our instructor, Sarah Dwyer, is the best. These classes are the highlight of my week and I look forward to them with enthusiasm. We have learned so much art and for older people it is beyond therapeutic – it helps us cope. We would be lost without having Art With Elders at Lytton Gardens.”
Louise Gibler, Lytton Gardens
“I began to take Art Classes for the first time in my life. I’m amazed how these classes have saved my life and have brought hope into my life. The Art Classes at the Mission Neighborhood Center have been so much fun, and I enjoyed the zoom format that brought so many friends into my life. I have learned how to draw and care for myself and my classmates through my Art Classes.”
Diana Chow, Mission Neighborhood Centers
“Look how absorbed everyone in the class is in what they’re doing. I like to draw people, to show their personality and their feelings. I practice in my room, too. All I do now is read and draw.”
Mary, age 72
Sample Artist Pages from 2018 26th Annual Show: