The SEPIA Initiative

 

With the turning of every year the ways in which our eyes see the world changes. Experience and wisdom clarifies our perspective and allows for uniquely centered and focused artistic expressions.

For the past year it has been my great pleasure to participate in the development and implementation of MOPA’s SEPIA (Seniors Exploring Photography Identity and Appreciation) Initiative, which is designed for individuals 55 years and older. These programs include artist-in-residency photography courses, discussion-based art talks focusing on images selected from the Museum’s permanent collection, and docent led museum tours. Many of these programs occur off-site so I have had the unique opportunity to conduct Museum programming all over San Diego County. Through partnerships with community organizations and assisted living facilities I have been able to work with over 1,000 participants this year.

Last week, in concert with Casa Familiar, MOPA opened the first exhibition of photographs created by SEPIA participants. Entitled, Thursday Afternoons, this exhibition features 55 photographs from fifteen individuals who met regularly, on Thursday afternoons, this past summer to take photographs together. The images touch on themes of identity and self-expression reflecting meaningful experiences and places in the artists’ lives, from capturing images of a local community garden to visually conceptualizing the feelings of rebirth after major surgery. It was a rewarding experience for me to watch these artists share their beautiful work with their family and friends. I am looking forward to showcasing more SEPIA work in the future.

Thursday Afternoons is currently on view at Casa Familiar’s gallery, The Front, in San Ysidro.