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Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America Announces 28th Annual Art is Ageless Awards Winners

WICHITA, Kan. — Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America (Presbyterian Manors) announced the winners of its 28th annual Art Is Ageless™ and Spirit of Art is Ageless competitions. This year’s juried annual contest featured 102 works of art created by artists ranging in age from 65 to 90.

The 2008 Art is Ageless™ winners were chosen from local exhibits held at PMMA’s 17 locations in Kansas and Missouri in August 2008. Winners were chosen in seven different categories – collage, drawing, painting, photography, quilting, sculpting and stained glass. Each will be featured on the 2009 Art is Ageless™ calendar or a postcard or note card that will be sold as a fundraiser to continue the Art is Ageless™ program and to extend programs to encourage creative expression and foster artistic talents and interests in seniors throughout the Presbyterian Manors system.   

Numerous examples of artists who began, continued or improved their talents later in life include Carl Sandburg, Pablo Casals, Grandma Moses, Georgia O’Keeffe and Elizabeth Layton. While Art is Ageless participants might not become luminaries in the art world, their artistic expression is no less intriguing and inspirational.

“Here at Presbyterian Manor we believe that there is no ‘age limit’ for creativity, no deadline for great achievement and no real restrictions on what can be done as you age,” said Bill Ward, president and CEO of Presbyterian Manors. “The artists who participate in Art Is Ageless™ every year and their works are great examples of what our residents and community members can accomplish by living life on their terms.” 

The 2009 Art is Ageless™ calendar will showcase 12 works with four runner-up pieces represented on postcards and on the calendar’s back cover. Five additional winners will be featured on note cards. All 2008 winners were judged anonymously from digital photos submitted from each local competition with winners chosen again this year by Leslie A. Pryzbylek, who is curator of humanities exhibits for the Mid-America Arts Alliance in Kansas City, Mo., a regional arts organization that serves both Kansas and Missouri. Pryzbylek, who holds a B.A. in art/art history from Gettysburg College and an M.A. in art history from the University of Delaware, has been professionally involved with the arts and humanities for more than 15 years. 

Ben Mercer of Lawrence, Kan., won the 2008 Best in Show award for his painting, “Seduce.”

While Art is Ageless™ winners can live in the Manors or surrounding communities, one resident from the Presbyterian Manors system is chosen annually to receive the Spirit of Art is Ageless award. This year’s Spirit of Art is Ageless award winner are The Happy Quilters, a group of residents of the Manor of the Plains in Dodge City, Kan. The award honors the participant who best exemplifies how artistic and creative expression can enhance one’s life.  This year’s winners were chosen because the group, which meets regularly to make quilts and lap blankets, gives blankets to welcome all new Manor residents and has also donated their creations to victims of Hurricane Katrina, the Greensburg tornado and house fires as well as impoverished Native Americans living in Southwest United States and the Kansas Soldier’s Home in Ft. Dodge, Kan.  James Flemings, a 93 year old resident of Rolla Presbyterian Manor in Rolla, Missouri who plays beautiful music on the handcrafted violins Fleming has been making since he was a teenager in St. Louis, MO was a runner up for the Spirit of Art is Ageless Award. 

2009 Art is Ageless™ calendars and note cards will be available in November 2008. Prices for calendars and note cards are $12 and $10 respectively, including shipping costs. Order forms for calendars and cards are available now at the Presbyterian Manors Web site ( 

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