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Art Is Ageless contest winners announced

Local artists recognized by LeadingAge Texas

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May 21st, 2014
woman with her necklace
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Three residents of Eagle’s Trace, the Erickson Living community in West Houston, took home awards at the 24th annual Art Is Ageless contest sponsored by LeadingAge Texas.

Jade Boebinger won first place in the jewelry category for her hand-woven necklace Green Goddess. Ed Hulyk won third place in the sculpture and woodwork category for his wood sculpture Proto II. David Jackson was a finalist in the watercolors category for his painting Cathedral in Tallinn. And Jackie Sedberry and Janet Shoholm were recognized in the soft crafts and poetry categories.

“Eagle’s Trace has quite a number of artists,” says Ed. “It’s exciting to be recognized for our work.”

The contest showcases the artistic talents of seniors from retirement communities across the state. To enter, each submission must have been completed while the artist was 65 or older and/or a resident of a LeadingAge Texas community member.

“I’ve been painting for years, but this is the first time I’ve heard of this particular contest,” says David. “It was a nice surprise to learn I was a finalist.”

This year, LeadingAge Texas received more than 200 entries in the visual arts categories and more than 40 submissions in the writing and music categories. The purpose of the contest is to demonstrate that “art is ageless,” whether the artist is continuing a lifelong hobby or pursuing one later in life.

Later-in-life hobby

Jade Boebinger falls into the second category. She took up jewelry-making 12 years ago when she bought a necklace from her friend.

“The necklace was an intricate design that combined hand weaving with beadwork,” says Jade. “I was so intrigued, I asked my friend if she could teach me her technique. I’ve been making necklaces ever since.”

Since that time, Jade has studied the works of Helen Banes, a pioneer in the field of fiber and bead jewelry. Like Banes, Jade uses found objects and ethnic ornaments in her custom designs.

“My husband worked for Bechtel, and we lived all over the world,” says Jade. “I picked up several interesting pieces while we were overseas and now incorporate many of them into necklaces.”

Some of her more unique items include an African net mender, a two-inch man carved from a potato, and an antique brooch passed down from her grandmother.

“No two necklaces are alike,” says Jade, who averages six weeks to complete one piece. “I often take a cue from my closet and make something to go with a particular outfit.”

The piece Jade submitted for the contest Green Goddess is one of her larger creations.

“It’s unique because I incorporated an amulet from Egypt in the shape of a scarab beetle,” she says.

Better with time

Jade, Ed, and David’s winning pieces were featured in the Art Is Ageless exhibit at the Renaissance Austin Hotel in mid-May.

“Creativity doesn’t stop with age,” says Jade. “If anything, it gets better because we have time to devote to our craft.”

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