Eugene Redmond, poet, and Lucian Krukowshi, visual artist, discuss their collaboration in the exhibit, A Means to Meaning at Regional Arts Commission, St. Louis, MO

Maturity and Its Muse

Organization Associated with Program
Maturity and Its Muse
9240 Clayton Rd.
St. Louis, Missouri 63124

Maturity and Its Muse of St. Louis, Missouri promotes positive and productive aging by example. The program consists of a traveling exhibit of the work created by a group of professional artists older than 70. Visitors to the exhibit have the opportunity to learn about how these artists think, appreciate the energy emanating from their art, and be inspired by their example to become engaged, as artists never retire. The average time the show is on display in a venue is 60 days. A documentary featuring interviews with the artists accompanies the show, and a catalogue that includes artist statements, biographies, and photos, as well as images from the exhibition, is available. In addition, the artists hold workshops, tours, and forums on art and art-making at each venue exhibiting the show.

The mission of Maturity and Its Muse is to promote positive, productive aging through the arts. In addition to outreach and collaboration with other arts organizations, Maturity and Its Muse puts together groundbreaking exhibits and activities spotlighting nationally recognized older artists. The program also creates film, books, and interactive media to raise awareness of and inspire increased participation of older adults in the arts.

Program History

The program was launched in 2008. The first activity sponsored was the Maturity and Its Muse exhibition and film, held at the Sheldon Art Galleries in St. Louis from October 2010 to February 2011. In early 2012 Maturity and Its Muse developed and presented the “A Means to Meaning” show, a collaboration between older visual artists and poets at the Regional Arts Commission. More recently, the program Kemper Art Reaches Everyone (KARE), a pilot in collaboration with the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum at Washington University, has been extended to a full year as a result of the success of its outreach to patients with neurocognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers.

Program Research and Key Findings

Washington University in St. Louis is conducting ongoing research on the effectiveness of the program.

Program Assessments and Evaluations

The program is evaluated multiple times on an ongoing basis through the use of interviews, individual assessments, attendance records, and press reviews. Evaluations are conducted by staff and partner organizations. An independent evaluator performed an evaluation as well.

Kinds of creative engagement/ program focus Creation of Original Work, Exhibiting Artwork, Viewing Artwork, Participate in a Class, Participate in a Workshop, Watch a Lecture/Demonstration
Arts Discipline: Media Arts, Museums, Visual Arts
Interdisciplinary Connections: Civic Engagement, Education, Volunteerism
Target Audience: Active Adults, Caregivers - Family, Caregivers - Professional, Frail Older Adults, Intergenerational, People with Alzheimer's Disease / Dementia
Adaptive Program Design Mobility Disabilities, Cognitive Disabilities
Program Setting: Arts Organization, Education (e.g. School / University), Social Service Agency
Program Service Area: Rural, Suburban, Urban
Type of Practice: Field Tested Best Practice