Joyce Abrams

Joyce Abrams
New York, NY
Memoir, Storytelling, Collage, Drawing, Mixed Media, Painting, Photography, Media Arts
After School Program, College/University, Arts/Cultural Organizations, Community Center, K-12 Schools, Library, Senior Center

As a professional artist, I work in many genres. They include the artist book, painting, drawing, collage, installation, photography, film, storytelling, writing and constructed paintings and sculpture. I attended the Art Students League and the High School of Music and Art, and earned a BFA from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and an MFA from Columbia University. I have also received post-graduate fellowships, most notably the Japan Foundation Creative Artist Grant and residencies at the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo. I am proficient in most visual media and my projects have led me to include non-fiction and fiction writing.

Besides continuing my own explorations and projects, I have been teaching and designing courses for older adults since 2007. Previously, my teaching experience was at the university level. I find working with adults at libraries and senior centers to be gratifying, creative and enjoyable. My students have fun and leave with new skills, new friends and work they can be proud of.

Currently, I am employing painting, collage, the artist book, constructions, photographs, sound, storytelling and digital media in my work. An installation, Then and Now: JAPAN – Tradition and Change, will use all the tools I have mentioned above. I like dipping into various mediums to expand upon the ways I express my ideas and to make my work clearer and more interesting.

Please see my website at

Older adults have a lot to say, a lot of experience, a lot of photos and memorabilia, and a lot of untapped talent. Beginning a project using a story, a photograph or an object that has meaning and memory is always fascinating. Everybody has a story, an idea and a visual memory that is important to them and that they need to express.

I provide a structure, encouragement and an atmosphere where my students can produce a short story or visual narrative, an artist’s book, a collage, a drawing, a painting or a mixed media art work that is significant and that they can share with others. Collaboration with peers allows older adults to create more than they could imagine doing on their own. It also provides a sense of community. In an intergenerational class adults get feedback and help from younger students. They will learn a creative process in my workshops and will work independently while reviewing their work and ideas with others. I bring my experience as an artist fluent in different visual media -- painting, sculpture, the artist book, film, photography, graphic design and installation -- to open doors for my students. My work creating artists’ books, paintings, collages and multi-media installations make me particularly capable of and especially interested in teaching the classes I propose for older adults or intergenerational venues. Please see my website at for more information.