Agency to unveil Artists for Aging initiative with Oct. 1 opening

3 years ago

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — A grand opening for the Artists for Aging exhibit at Aroostook Agency on Aging, featuring the works of two local artists, will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 1. 

The public is invited to attend the event, scheduled during the city’s First Friday Art Walk. 

John Holub and Lisa Desjardins, featured artists, will be in attendance and available to discuss their work. Light refreshments will also be served. The gallery space is part of northern Maine’s Aging and Disability Resource Center, which opened for business in 2019 at 260 Main Street. 

Since relocating to downtown Presque Isle, agency officials said they have observed an increase in the number of walk-ins at the new building compared with their former facility in the city’s industrial park. The new 7,700-square-foot location encourages people to stop by and visit to learn about what kinds of services and resources are available to older people, those with disabilities and their caregivers. 

“We wanted to create an atmosphere where people could come and visit,” said Joy Barresi Saucier, the agency’s executive director. “As an added incentive to drop by, we have offered our expansive wall space to local artists who wish to showcase their creations. Those who take part in our Artists for Aging program, dedicate a percentage of all sales to Agency programs and services. We are very grateful that John and Lisa stepped forward to launch the effort.” 

Self-taught, John Holub first started creating from his Westfield studio offering pen-and-ink renderings. Now, he paints in watercolor, gauche, and oil with an occasional pen-and-ink in the mix. Many of his originals are offered in print form. Holub has painted in Italy, the Caribbean, Georgia and Florida, to name but a few locations. And, of course, he continues to paint Maine’s woods and waters. 

“The Artists for Aging program will offer area artists of all ages the opportunity to help promote art and support fellow artists here at Agency on Aging. What a great opportunity,” Holub said. 

Desjardins is Holub’s daughter and is also self-taught. She established her painting technique with watercolor while living in Virginia and Maryland. Watercolor is her preferred medium, and she desires to make a connection to the viewer through her art. Favorite subjects include the beauty of natural images, Aroostook County scenes and animal portraitures.

“I see working with the Artists for Aging program as a way to connect people in the community who have a spark in their hearts for creativity. It is an outlet for presenting that creativity in a meaningful way, through it furthering the mission of Aroostook Agency on Aging,” she said.