Creative expression, whether we are the creator or the observer, provides many benefits. It helps us boost our self-esteem, alleviates stress and anxiety, and improves cognitive function. For these reasons and more, local artist Zahra Lotfi decided she must share her work with those residing at Juniper Village at Brookline, who because of the pandemic, have not been afforded the ability to enjoy visits to galleries off-site. The Awakening of the Creative Spirit is Lotfi’s first one-person exhibition and is a visual reflection of her thoughts about the importance of familial relationships, her childhood in Iran, and the beauty she sees in nature.
“We are so grateful to Zahra for sharing this incredible exhibition, and to Dr. Grace Hampton for connecting us and curating this experience,” said Katie Kensinger, Senior Director of Community Relations at Juniper Village. “Through the Intergenerational Think Tank we’re both part of, Dr. Hampton learned about everything Juniper was doing to enhance our residents’ well-being through the arts, and had the idea to connect us with Zahra. The fact that we were able to collaborate to offer something like this during the pandemic has made it especially meaningful and a true gift to all those who work and live at Juniper.” The exhibit also further ties into Juniper’s Alive in All Season programming which for February is: Awaken Your Passion with Art.
Zahra Lotfi describes herself as a Persian American artist who has recently returned to creating drawings and painting after a long career as a Medical Laboratory Technologist and raising three children. She has spent a vast amount of time connecting with people from all cultures, backgrounds and walks of life. For Zahra, art serves as an interconnection that synthesizes and harmonizes the world.
Grace Hampton has had a long career at Penn State as the first African American and female vice-provost, and the director of the Penn State visual arts program. She also served as the assistant director of the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, D.C., from 1983 to 1985.
Selections from The Awakening of the Creative Spirit along with the artist’s statement can be seen on Juniper Village at Brookline’s Facebook page. We invite you to visit the virtual exhibit and share your comments!