The Centenarian Portrait Project by Teenagers
Artwork by Sarah Henson
´A natural fit; the generous spirit of the old, embracing the enthusiasm of the young. Expressive and insightful.´
The Centenarian Portrait Project by Teenagers is a professional community arts project that promotes inter-generational friendships, celebrates the elders in your community and fights the negative ageing stigma.
Following the culmination of a life-affirming inter-generational process, an art exhibition profiles 100 centenarians through portraits created by skilled young artists. For most of our artists it is an opportunity to meet a centenarian for the first time; for our centenarians a chance to share history and for both generations a memorable experience exchanging perspectives.
Via a centenarian and artist call out, our pairs are matched geographically. Following this a guided initial introduction takes place led by our team. From this point the artists visit their partnered centenarian multiple times. During these visits sketches are created, photos shot and a portrait approach established amongst conversation that is always memorable. Following these get-to-know-you sessions the artists complete their portraits. In addition artists write a text to accompany their work including biographical facts about their subject, interesting stories and approaches to life at 100 and beyond.
Post exhibition, the portraits are gifted to the centenarians and their families in person by their respective teenage artist.
The Centenarian Portrait Project by Teenagers brings people together, who otherwise wouldn’t come into contact. Spending time with those outside our usual social circles promotes understanding and moves towards the creation of a more harmonious community. Our seniors have the capacity to contribute to our society long into their senior years and this initiative provides them with a platform to share their experiences and wisdom with young people, which is memorable, often moving and at times profound.
This program honours100 of your city´s oldest residents. The finale – an exhibition of 100 portraits – profiling your city, sharing stories of both past and present and allowing gallery-goers to reflect on how the experiences of local residents and local lifestyles have changed over the last century.
A beautiful exhibition that brings a tear to the eye, along with a giggle !
Artwork by Charlotte Frencken