Folklorist Jon Kay will discuss his book Folk Art and Aging, which explores the life-story projects of older adults and how these vernacular forms of creative aging support the physical, mental, and social wellbeing of elders. Whether painting pictures of past events, wood burning important names and places onto a walking stick, or artfully arranging family photographs, life-story objects often anticipate social interactions and narrative encounters. These curious creations serve multiple functions in the lives of the elderly: they are objects to reflect upon; props for explaining events and their meanings; the product of a pastime that fills the lonely hours; mnemonic devices to remind the forgetful; a meditative practice that helps seniors make sense of the past; and a material legacy to leave to family and friends.
Focusing on five elders in Indiana, "each of these artists will teach us how their creative work assists them in making sense of their lives, connecting with others, forging a new identity in their later years, and making commentary of the changing world around them.”
For visitors without an IU parking permit, metered parking is available behind the Wells Library (enter from Jordan Ave.). Paid parking is also available in the Jordan Avenue garage, a short walk from Wells. (More information about visitor parking on campus.)