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Kindness and Aging (Common Ground Series)

Sep 15 @ 4:00 pm-5:00 pm

Kindness and Aging pairs Artist and UC Santa Barbara Art Department Professor Jane Callisterin conversation with Dr. Lené Levy-Storms, Hartford Faculty Scholar Departments of Social Welfare and Medicine/Geriatrics, Bedari Kindness Institute, UC Los Angeles. They will discuss concepts of kindness and its implementation in our communal world. Callister will address “kindness” as a theme in contemporary art practices and her new body of work It Started with a Crocofish created in collaboration with her father. Levy-Storms’ research addresses the role “kindness” as it intersects with modes of communication and caregiving to older adults living with Alzheimer’s and chronic disease and optimizing urban spaces for the well-being of the low-income community elders.

Jane Callister was born on the Isle of Man, UK in 1963 and is now a Southern California based artist who works across the mediums of painting, sculpture, drawing and installation. Over the past 20 years Callister has exhibited in many notable exhibits including The 1st Prague Biennale at the Veletrizni Palace Prague, Czech Republic; Extreme Abstraction at the Albright Knox Museum, Buffalo, New York; and was included in the 2006 California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA. Recent solo exhibitions include Baroco-pop at Royale Projects, Los Angeles (where she is currently represented) and It Started With a Crocofish; New Drawings by Jane Callister at the VITA arts Center, Ventura, CA. Callister’s work has also been featured in notable publications such as: Vitamin P: New Perspectives in Painting with essay by David Pagel and LA Artland by Chris Krauss. Her work is in numerous private collections as well as The New Museum, New York and The Albright Knox Museum, Buffalo, NY. In 2019 ArtSlant, an online archive that featured her work, was accepted into the Library of Congress and the NYARC (New York Resources Consortium).

Lené Levy-Storms is an Associate Professor in the Luskin School of Public Affairs, Department of Social Welfare at the Geffen School of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics at UCLA, and serves on the advisory board for the Bedari Kindness Institute at UCLA. This fall she teaches a seminar on the intersection of kindness, COVID, and social well-being. Dr. Levy-Storms’ primary research has focused on communication processes underlying social support and on caregiving for older adults living with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Since 2004, she has partnered with Susan Kohler, a speech and language therapist and author of a book titled: “How to Communicate with Alzheimer’s”, to develop a behavioral, video training program for both family and non-family caregivers. With funding from the National Institute on Aging, the Hartford Foundation, the American Medical Director’s Association, and the National Alzheimer’s Association, Dr. Levy-Storms developed methods of evaluating caregivers’ communication behaviors among a variety of caregivers and long-term care settings. Her other recent research has explored: 1) how best to design an urban park for low-income, diverse older adults in downtown Los Angeles to optimize their well-being and social support, 2) communication issues faced by caregivers of older adults living with diabetes and dementia in the Veteran’s Administration (VA), and 3) communication issues between older adults with advanced chronic diseases and healthcare providers as their treatment needs progress.

The Common Ground: Artist Reimagining Community multi-part transdisciplinary lecture series pairs an artist and researcher in conversation to discuss concepts of “community” from their disciplines. Future fall semester 2020 discussions include Judaism and Global Voices, Home Sweet Home: Homeownership and Community Building, and Latinx Identities: Performing Community Formation. Adjunct Visual Art Department professor Jennifer Vanderpool, Ph.D. created the programming for these lectures in conjunction with the upcoming exhibition (October 30, 2021-March 5, 2021) of the same name guest curated by Vanderpool. Inspired by mutual aid societies, Vanderpool integrated the participatory strategies of social practice art that organizes communities in debate and collaboration with curatorial activism approaches that challenge the assumptions and erasures of voices in hegemonic narratives to develop Common Ground: Artist Reimagining Community.