Society & Culture

Symposium brings art, community together to contemplate contemporary aging

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia Institute of Gerontology and the Athens Institute for Contemporary Art bring together art and community for a symposium focused on “Contemplating Aging.” The event will be held on Feb. 23 from 2:30-5 p.m. at ATHICA: Athens Institute for Contemporary Art Inc., 160 Tracy St., Unit 4.

“We are very much an anti-aging society. We really don’t talk about aging and my research has highlighted that we don’t give older people a chance to talk about aging,” said Anne Glass, associate director of the UGA Institute of Gerontology. “With this event, we want to go against the societal view and promote discussion about the aging process within the community at large.”

The symposium is organized by Glass and Melissa Armstrong, a student in the UGA Master of Social Work program and intern at the Institute of Gerontology.

Featured speakers are Glass; Eugene C. Bianchi, professor of religion emeritus, Emory University; Ronald Gerson, rabbi emeritus, Congregation Children of Israel; and Leonard W. Poon, professor emeritus and former director, Institute of Gerontology.

The symposium is part of a series of events organized alongside “The Third Act: Contemplating Aging,” an exhibition on view at ATHICA through March 2. Curated by ATHICA Director Emeritus Lizzie Zucker Saltz, the exhibit features artworks by nine artists who address aging’s issues in a variety of media as well as educational areas developed by students from the Institute of Gerontology, led by Glass.

“Aging has challenges, but it can also have many positive aspects,” said Glass. “Today, the majority of older adults will probably enjoy a period of many years of good health and, with resources, ‘old age’ could be the best years of their life.”

Athens Institute for Contemporary Art is an independent, nonprofit gallery promoting and supporting innovative contemporary art and artists through exhibitions, education and events. For more information, see

UGA Institute of Gerontology
The Institute of Gerontology in the College of Public Health is the University of Georgia’s central hub for education, research and outreach services associated with the study of aging and older adults. The institute collaborates with educators and researchers within Georgia and around the world to address the changing public health needs of an aging population.