Joy can be an act of defiance

A message of hope, unity, resilience, beauty and responsibility voiced by retirees.  This is an immersive artwork created by a collaboration between Mt. San Antonio Gardens and ET Projects ( to remind us of what is possible, together.

Staged at and by residents of MSAG, a ‘kaleidoscopic-rose window’ was created by filming the scene using drones. The participants moved in tandem under colorful umbrellas throughout several venues on their campus. “In play we can see each other again” remarked a masked participant.

The layers of the project tell stories of resilience and ultimately, the belief that one can “Look Up” and see through today into a more optimistic tomorrow. The umbrellas (“props”) are printed with Turk’s brightly colored drawings of plants which have unique histories of survival: gingko, lodgepole pine and poppies. The geometry of the different venues allowed residents to physically distance and informed the movement within each composition.

Under the umbrellas are older adults who, while their professional work may be complete, have much wisdom to share. The act of participating and sharing this experience allowed for this community to be a voice of hope to each other and the world. Capturing both intimate moments and spectacular aerial footage of the larger community en masse gave the participants a platform to create a beautiful message larger than themselves. The ripples of their optimism are just beginning!


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