Aging and Creativity
with Jane Buyers, Susan Swan, and Emily Urquhart
How does art evolve as we age?
When Emily Urquhart and her family celebrated the eightieth birthday of her father, the illustrious painter Tony Urquhart, she found it remarkable that, although his pace had slowed, he was continuing his daily art practice of drawing, painting, and constructing large-scale sculptures, and was even innovating his style. Was he defying the odds, or is it possible that some assumptions about the elderly are flat-out wrong? Is it possible that our best work is ahead of us? Is there an expiry date on creativity?
Join Emily Urquhart and the artists that have inspired her to unpack these questions and more. Recommended Reading: Emily Urquhart’s newly launched memoir, The Age of Creativity: Art, Memory, My Father, and Me.
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JANE BUYERS is a visual artist. She has an Honours B.A. in Visual Art from York University (1973) and a Master of Education in History and Philosophy from the University of Toronto (1990). She was Professor in the Fine Arts department at the University of Waterloo from 1988 to 2010, where she is now Distinguished Professor Emerita.
Buyers has worked in a variety of media and processes in printmaking, sculpture, drawing and commissioned public works. Many of her works incorporate references to books. She has exhibited across Canada, as well in United States, U.K., Germany and Italy, in over forty solo exhibitions and in more than one hundred group exhibitions. Her work is in numerous private, corporate and public collections.
Novelist, teacher, activist and journalist, SUSAN SWAN‘s critically acclaimed fiction has been published in twenty countries. In 2019, Swan published her eighth book of fiction, The Dead Celebrities Club, described in the Globe and Mail as “a tale of greed, hubris and fraud…a financial fable worthy of the age.” Swan’s novel, the international bestseller, The Wives of Bath, was made into the feature film Lost and Delirious and shown in 32 countries. Her 2004 novel What Casanova Told Me was a finalist for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. Her first novel, The Biggest Modern Woman of the World, about a Canadian giantess who exhibited with P.T. Barnum is currently being made into a television series. Swan was York University’s Robarts Scholar for Canadian Studies in 1999-2000. A past chair of The Writers’ Union of Canada, she brought in a new benefits deal for writers. She is a co-founder of The Carol Shields Prize for Fiction with editor Janice Zawerbny.
EMILY URQUHART is a National Magazine Award-winning writer and has a doctorate in folklore from Memorial University of Newfoundland. Her first book, Beyond the Pale: Folklore, Family and the Mystery of our Hidden Genes (HarperCollins 2015), was a Maclean’s bestseller, a finalist for the BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction and a 2015 Globe and Mail Best Book. Her freelance writing has appeared in The Toronto Star, The Walrus, Longreads, The Rumpus and Eighteen Bridges among other publications. She is a nonfiction editor for The New Quarterly and teaches creative nonfiction at Wilfrid Laurier University. Her second book, The Age of Creativity: Art, Memory, my Father and Me (Anansi) launched in September 2020.