Helen’s Home | reflections on aging

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Imagine: You have lived your life as a fiercely independent woman—you are the daughter of Rocky Mountain homesteaders, never married, worked as a weapons inspector during World War II, and had no children of your own. You have maintained the family homestead with sweat, strength, and dedication. Then, as you enter your 90s, relying on your own hard work—a critical element of homestead life—is no longer possible. As much as you fight it, letting go of independence and surrendering to the aging process is no longer optional.

Helen’s Home is a visual and textural installation that focuses on the uncomfortable and often taboo subject of aging. My hope is that if we allow ourselves to be present with the discomfort of it, we will see through the wrinkled skin and weakened bones of our elders and be reminded of the significant strength that resides within them—honoring a life well lived. ~ Jenna Avriel Rice

Please join us for an opening reception to kick off Helen’s Home on Thursday, August 2, 2012, at PlatteForum, 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Artist and photographer Jenna Avriel Rice’s work at PlatteForum builds on a 10-year relationship with her 96-year-old adopted grandmother, Helen, told through photographs. During her residency, Jenna is creating an installation that prompts us to examine the complex process of preservation and decomposition. Because every residency includes side-by-side work with youth, she has been exploring a theme of capturing memories from elders with PlatteForum’s ArtLab youth. Working with Bessie’s Hope, an organization that enhances the quality of life for nursing home and assisted-living elders and brings generations together in mutually rewarding relationships, Jenna has been leading ArtLab youth as each student interviews, spends time with, and photographs an elder with whom they have been paired.

PlatteForum will be transformed into a world of multi-generational stories in which the audience is seeped in the richness and diversity of life and perhaps inspired to learn more about the lives of their elders through an exhibition that opens on August 2, 2012.

<link>Learn more about Jenna’s residency.