The Village Gallery
Reframing Aging – Background
This exhibit was born in 2017, out of curiosity and a discussion. Over coffee one day, photographer Nancy Rubin and writer Cynthia Bix—both Ashby Village volunteers— were talking about the many dynamic people over 70 they had met. Noting that prevailing attitudes toward older people often failed to recognize the joy, vitality and creativity of so many elders, they wondered how they could help to challenge stereotypes about aging. Their answer was to put together this exhibit.
They selected a dozen Ashby Village members to profile—a mix of men and women from various walks of life, all over the age of 70. With each person, they spent a fascinating, revealing hour or more. While Cynthia interviewed each subject, Nancy took a series of photos. Later, Cynthia selected the best, most memorable nuggets of wisdom and humor from each interview, and Nancy—along with the subjects themselves—chose the most representative photo. With graphic designer Maria Reeves, they created a portrait board for each person.
Those 12 boards became the Reframing Aging exhibit, which was first shown at the Ashby Village Gallery in 2017.
Since then, the exhibit has been shown at a variety of California venues, including the Berkeley Public Library, North Branch; the Doe Library at UC Berkeley; BAMPFA (Berkeley Art Museum); the Corte Madera Library, the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, and the Peninsula Center Library in Rolling Hills Estates.
Note: Since the exhibit was first presented, some of the subjects have died. These portraits remain as a testament to their vitality and the many contributions to society they made during their lifetimes.