Ridgefield exhibit features the ‘talent-rich community’ of artists age 60 and over

RIDGEFIELD — For Ridgefield artist Nancy Moore, creative life begins much later than many people would have you think.

That's why she came up with the idea for “Coming of Age” — a unique show at the Ridgefield Guild of Artists that solely featured the work of creators who are 60 years and older.

On Friday evening the guild hosted an event to meet the artists for the show, which had opened on April 9 and closed last weekend after experiencing significant sales.

“I, myself, am 69 as of today,” said Moore, who celebrated her birthday Friday with her fellow artists.

“I live in a talent-rich community of artists my age and older,” she said, “and they inspire me every day ... So why not highlight these wonderful people?”

Close to 70 artists showed more than 100 different works in the show, including photos, fine art and sculpture.

“I wanted to make a statement that the work we're making is every bit as vibrant and relevant as anybody younger is making,” Moore said, “and we're bringing our experiences to art.”

Mary Pat Divine, president of the guild, explained that the idea for the show resonated with her, and the logic behind it makes sense.

“It becomes kind of more of a passion for people our age because we have more time to devote to our craft,” she said. “And Nancy's point of the show was to put a spotlight on people who were still creating good work.”

She said too often dealers and critics in the art world keep their focus on the youngest generation.

“Often they're looking for something that is new and young and things like that,” said Divine and others who spoke to the value of the work of more seasoned artists.

Robin Simon of Bedford, N.Y., was among those who recognized the value in this show's theme.

“I see artists who are not apologizing for the art they make,” she said. “They've reached a level of honesty and maturity in their work.”

Along with works that each artist had had to create after their 60th birthday to qualify for this show, Moore had each write a statement that related to their experience and outlook as an artist of that age range.

“I asked all the artists to write, not about the works on the wall, not about a resume, but about being an artist of their age,” she said, with each participant's unique words part of the spirit.

“People don't just see this show,” Moore said. “They read the show.”