Creativity never gets old in ‘Visions’ exhibit

Glenda Avalos

The Student Engagement & Leadership presents the “Visions: Creativity Never Gets Old” exhibit by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the Union Gallery for all to admire and explore.

OLLI a program founded by Bernard Osher provides learning opportunities for senior adults, 50 years of age and older on more than 122 campus across the nation, including UTEP. Students with OLLI find numerous opportunities to become involved by engaging their minds in activities toward healthy aging such as creating art for exhibitions like “Visions.”

“Visions” shows the progress of the students from the OLLI program through works of photography, repujado, oils, painting, abstract, acrylics and more.

“We decided that “Visions” should encompass all of the creativity that we see happening through our OLLI art students,” said Lynn Provenzano, executive director of OLLI.

Rosario Aponte, OLLI landscaping instructor, said painting is like therapy and once the students are into that process, they get excited learning the techniques because they are able to see their improvement.

“One of my students one time said ‘My life was terrible and when I got into your class everything started changing,’” Aponte said. “That makes me feel good.”

Aponte said the students are doing much more than just painting as a form of therapy, but gives them a way to tell their story.

“Imagine if you are in an adventure and every day you open up a new book and learn something new right, but fun stuff, that’s what we do,” Provenzano said.

Margarita Acosta, artist and member of OLLI, said that sometimes some people tend to believe that older adults are cast aside, but OLLI integrates older adults. 

Acosta said she is really passionate about recycling and nature; she likes to reflect that passion in her art.

“Dando Vida (giving life), is an agave when they reach a certain time in their life a branch comes out, that is like a child and after the agave dies — it is like the cycle of life,” Acosta said about her painting.

“Visions” will run until April 12 at the Union Gallery located at Union Bldg. East, on the second floor.

For information about OLLI, visit Miner Hall Room 209 or visit