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I run a non-profit art gallery and create arts programming for ten retirement communities.

A few years ago a piece of art, a collage, was dropped off for our once a year residents exhibition. I loved the piece and decided to use it as one of the pieces on the postcard announcing the exhibit. Some weeks later a woman came in and turns out she was the collage artist. I said to her, “stay here a moment I want to show you something “, I went to the office and came back with the just received postcard featuring her work.

Seemed like it would be a nice surprise. When I showed it to her she burst into tears. She said that was the first art she had ever made (I am guessing she was in her mid-seventies at this point). She went on to describe how her father would not let her take art class or make any kind of art as he thought it a waste of time. She had gone on to a career as a CPA which she said was fine but that it was nothing she loved.

She then went on to explain how much she loved learning about collage and was now actively creating regularly. She truly had a natural gift of color and design and it was great that she was now enjoying this time in her life.

She was beyond words with how much having her art affirmed meant to her. What an unexpected and lovely encounter.

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