Go to the ArtPrize mobile app.
ArtPrize has a new mobile app for 2021! Learn more here.

Last Apartment

Mary Jane Pories's avatar Mary Jane Pories

My entry, Last Apartment, consists of three paintings hovering over a generic floor plan of a one-bedroom apartment. The piece illuminates my conflicting feelings over my mother’s move from independence in her last apartment to an early dementia facility on the other side of the country. The paintings express my admiration for her indomitable spirit, endless energy and sometimes reckless pursuit of her dreams. The contrasting generic floor plan highlights her frustration at being confined by limitations, both real and imagined. She often said she felt like she was “living in a box.” My sadness over this stage in her life became more acute as I watched her make a final move from one box to an even smaller, more confining one. In a culture which values youth over years, rather than engaging with our elders for the wisdom and vision that often accompanies age, we reduce them to their needs for our convenience. We pack away their treasures and their treasure. We see them simply as a drain on resources or condescend to coddling them. We store them for easy maintenance and speed on with our own pursuits. Beyond our individual relationships, the outward more obvious systemic injustices include consistent cuts to Social Security and Medicare, widespread poverty, chemical constraints, and wrenching isolation. As individuals and as a society, we all lose when we assume our elders have little or nothing to offer us. Last Apartment is my attempt to reveal what I discovered in her move. A woman beyond my mother whose inspiring brilliance and passion I found hidden in the heart of her small cookie-cutter apartment.

Entry Details
  • Art form: 2-D
  • Depth: 6 inches
  • Medium: Oil and Mixed Media
  • Width: 7 feet
  • Year created: 2018
  • Height: 7 feet