ART+experience is our annual celebration of seniors in the arts.

Every September, the corridors of our main office are transformed. Over 100 rich and honest works of art appear on our walls and turn our building into the region’s largest art gallery dedicated to celebrating the genius, the talent, and the creativity of older adults of Mystic Valley.

Exhibition Eligibility

To be eligible for a ribbon, artists must be 60 years or older and live within the Mystic Valley Elder Services & Chelsea Revere Winthrop Elder Services communities- that is, within the cities/towns of Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Medford, Melrose, North Reading, Reading, Revere, Stoneham, Wakefield, and Winthrop. Art+experience is intended to display recent works of art, specifically works created after the artist turned 60 years old.

Content and frame

There are no restrictions on the content or theme of the artwork. The artwork must be wholly original (not a copy of another piece) to be eligible for a ribbon. The judges may decide that collages that rely primarily on others’ artwork (preprinted materials, molded pieces) for their artistic merit are not eligible for ribbons. In order to accommodate the greatest number of artists and ensure that works can be enjoyed by all, we must limit each artist to two framed works of art. Pieces must be ready to hang on the wall. We apologize that we do not currently have the space to accommodate sculptures. (Please bear in mind that exceptionally heavy pieces of artwork may have to be leaned against walls in order to protect both our building and your art.)

Drop-off and pick-up

Before dropping off your art, please fill out the artwork labels and firmly attach the labels to the back of your artwork. Complete the registration slip and bring it with your ready-to-hang artwork to Mystic Valley Elder Services headquarters at 300 Commercial Street, #19, in Malden. We will accept artwork on Monday, August 10 through Wednesday, August 12 between 10am-4pm. Artwork must be picked up at the end of the exhibition, either on Wednesday, September 30 or Thursday, October 1, between 10am-4pm. Any artwork dropped off at our offices after August 12 will not be eligible for a ribbon.

Artists’ reception and ribbon awards

We will host an exhibition opening and reception on Wednesday, September 2 from 11am to 1pm. All artists are welcome to bring their friends and families. A hand-selected panel of artists and art enthusiasts will determine best in show for drawing, painting, photography, and collage/mixed-media.

Exhibit open to the public

Artwork will be displayed in the Mystic Valley Elder Services headquarters and available for public viewings between September 2 and 29, 9am to 4pm. Mystic Valley Elder Services cannot assume any responsibility for theft or damages to artwork. Artwork may be offered for sale, but all sales transactions must occur directly between artists and buyers. We do not take a commission for sales of artwork. Visitors to the exhibition and Mystic Valley Elder Services staff may vote on their favorite artwork. The piece receiving the most votes will receive a People’s Choice ribbon.

Closing salon and reception

A closing salon and reception will be held Tuesday, September 29 from 4:00pm to 5:30pm at the Dockside Riverview Restaurant, 270 Medford Street, Malden. We invite artists to bring new work they have created in the ART+experience workshops and to bring poems, essays, stories, monologues, or songs for brief, three-minute performances. We will also award the People’s Choice ribbon during this reception.

We will once again hold our low-cost senior art workshops throughout September. Registration for these classes begins on August 18th!

Classes will be held throughout the month of September at our Malden office (300 Commercial St., #19). See below for schedule and class descriptions or download the flyer here.

Each meeting of these three-part workshops will be three hours long. All art supplies (except camera) will be provided; coffee and light snacks will be provided.

The cost of the course is $10. Financial hardship scholarships are available. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. Beginning August 18, you may register on our website below using a credit card, or by mailing or in person using a check. Please do not send or bring cash.

We invite students to present artwork and creative writing from their courses at the ART+experience closing salon & reception on Tuesday, September 29 at 4:00pm.

PHOTOGRAPHY with Ose Manheim

This course meets:  Monday, Sept. 14 from 9am-12noon, Monday, Sept. 21 from 9am-12noon, Monday, Sept. 28 from 9am-12noon
Don’t fear your camera! This workshop will take you through your camera’s basic functions, teach you how to choose settings for any type of shot, and introduce you to the artistic aspects of photography. For beginners; must bring your own camera.


This course meets:  Monday, Sept. 14 from 2pm-5pm,  Monday, Sept. 21 from 2pm-5pm, Monday, Sept. 28 from 2pm-5pm
This all-levels class will cover the basics of oil portraits, such as light, composition, and color. Make sure to bring a smock and bring one or two photographs or drawings you’d like to paint.


This course meets: Monday, Sept. 14 from 2pm to 5pm, Monday, Sept. 21 from 2pm to 5pm, Monday, Sept. 28 from 2pm to 5pm
This workshop will focus on three key elements of portrait drawing: understanding the human head, image size and perspective, and rendering, the most personal aspect of drawing.

CREATIVE WRITING with Licia Sky & Melissa Nussbaum

This course meets:  Tuesday, Sept. 8 from 2pm to 5pm,  Tuesday, Sept. 15 from 2pm to 5pm, Tuesday, Sept. 22 from 2pm to 5pm
We all have stories, and this class will guide you through finding ways to develop memories and anecdotes into stories that you can share with each other, with family, with friends. Participants of all experience levels are encouraged to attend.

WATERCOLOR with Susan Burke

This course meets:  Wednesday, Sept. 9 from 2pm-5pm,  Wednesday, Sept. 16 from 2pm-5pm, Wednesday, Sept. 23 from 2pm-5pm
This introductory workshop will familiarize participants with watercolor tools and materials, composition, and the process of working with watercolor and painting from landscape/life.

Register at www.mves.org beginning August 18! You may also fill out the registration form and mail it with a check to Art+experience, c/o Jackie Bird, Mystic Valley Elder Services, 300 Commercial St. #19, Malden, MA, 02148. (Envelopes received before August 18 will be held unopened until class registration begins.) To ensure accessibility to all, you may register for up to two classes at once, and may have your name added to the waiting list for additional classes.

Classes are open to older adults (60+) residing in Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Medford, Melrose, North Reading, Reading, Revere, Stoneham, Wakefield and Winthrop.

Massachusetts Cultural CouncilThis program is supported in part by grants from the Malden, Medford, Melrose, North Reading, and Wakefield Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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