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Senior Resources » How Art Exhibits Enhance Senior Living

How Art Exhibits Enhance Senior Living

June Sekiguchi, one of three art curators for Era Living, joins Suzanne to discuss art and how it plays into seniors and senior living. June is an arts organizer, practicing studio artist, and independent curator for Era Living. As a founding member of the artEAST Art Center, a visual arts non-profit organization, and currently collaborating with three artists to open an exhibition space for experimental 3-D works in all media with a focus on regional, national, and international artist exchanges. June has led organizational efforts for national and international art exhibition exchanges for Shift Collaborative Studio in Seattle and Stockholm, Sweden, Texas, and Arkansas.

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June says, “There are temporary rotating exhibitions at all of the Era Living communities. And we host three shows per year. So there are constantly shows being produced, and you can always see something that buildings are open, better than gallery hours. Now that we’re post-pandemic, we can open up, and people can see the shows. I’m one of three curators now at Era Living. And so we put out calls – big calls for art – and they’re usually theme-based. And we also work with arts organizations. So, for instance, Women Painters of Washington or Seattle Co. Arts, those kinds of members organizations, we do group shows for their members.”

June adds, “Once we have the show launched, we do the installation, beautify the space, and refresh the space. So then we hold gala receptions, which are different at each location, but usually, it’s a big party. There’s usually live music and hors d’oeuvres and wine. And it’s a very festive feel, and the residents look forward to it, because it’s something to look forward to as a party, but also to see the new art changed over, and meet the artist as well. So it’s a really feel-good time… the residents overwhelmingly welcome the new work coming in. It refreshes the space, it enlightens spaces and it’s a chance for new dialogue and conversations about the art. It’s not always that people are going to love every piece of art, but that dialogue happens. Maybe they don’t like it, and the reasons why, so it’s a conversation builder and it just makes them start thinking about the art that we’re presenting. 

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“At University House Wallingford, I lead curators’ preview tours. So I come after the installation is done, and people sign up for doing a little tour with me, so I can talk about the art. There are other things that we do in conjunction with the art shows. We have in the past done artist talks, so we select two or three artists from the show, and then they can go more in-depth with their art practice. So that’s really enriching opportunities, and it’s a wonderful opportunity for the artist as well to do that sharing.”

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Originally published November 27, 2023

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