Artisan Column by Jen Rubinowitz | 8/23/11

Art and aging are not for the faint of heart.  The stereotype of artists as young, idealistic free spirits is overused in the press and movies.  "American Idol" contestants by and large are young.  The message is if you're old, it's too late to start now. But there are many examples of artists becoming successful fairly late in life.  This month's "Poets & Writers" magazine profiles Sam Savage.  After years of writing, his first novel, "Firmin: Adventures of a Metropolitan Lowlife" didn't get published until he was sixty-five and now his third book will be out this fall.

You had to be living under a rock to miss Susan Boyle's videos on YouTube.  We tracked her path in 2009 on "Britain's Got Talent." Guinness World Records recognized her as the oldest person to reach number one with a debut album in the UK last year.  Her first album was released when she was forty-eight. Her seasoning didn't prepare her for sudden stardom so we also got tabloid reports on top of kudos for her voice.

Lots of people live their life doing the "responsible" thing to put bread on the table.  When they retire, they'll often use it as an opportunity to create and let go a bit.  If you've given yourself excuses on not following your artistic yearnings, stop.  You're never too old to learn and experiment.  Will you make a number one record or write a best-selling novel? Maybe not. But if you measure success by how people respond to your work and not in how many dollars you make, you've definitely got a shot at the big-time. Go for it.

Artisan Events:
  • Daily through August 31 - "Merit Show Award Winners" Exhibit. Art Center for the Islands. Admission: Free.  
  • Fridays & Saturdays through September 4, 7:30 p.m. - "The Producers" Live on Stage.  Aurora Arts Theatre. Admission: $14.
  • Friday, September 2, 7:30 p.m. - "Sarah McQuaid in Concert" The Rialto Theater. Admission: $12.
  • Fridays & Saturdays, September 2 - 17, 7:30 p.m. - "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" Harbor Playhouse. Admission: $6-$16
  • Sundays, September 4 - 18, 2:00 p.m. - "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" Harbor Playhouse. Admission: $6-$16
  • Fridays & Saturdays, September 9 - 24, 7:30 p.m. - "Harvey." Rialto Theater. Admission: $12.
  • Sunday, September 25, 2:00 p.m. - "Harvey." The Rialto Theater. Admission: $12.
  • Daily through September 28 - "Standing Out: 2011 Merit Artists" Exhibit.  Rockport Center for the Arts. Admission: Free.
  • Daily through September 30 - "Moods" exhibit by Jackie Anderson & Gary Hansen. Rialto Theater. Admission: Free.
Jen Rubinowitz is a member of the Board of Directors of the Rialto Theater, an IRS 501(c)(3) charitable organization fostering art and education through visual art, music and live stage productions in the historic movie theater in downtown Aransas Pass. Her day job is in real estate at Coldwell Banker The Ron Brown Company. If you have someone you'd like to spotlight in this column, drop her a line at jen@jenscoastalbend.com.