Philadelphia Corporation for Aging showcases 85-year-old artist's paintings

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Philadelphia Corporation for Aging is highlighting works of art created by older adults, with a month-long event called "Celebrate Arts and Aging."

In 85 years of living, Diane Wolfe Gray has been a poet, an actress, a mime, and a clown. But it's only in the last decade that she discovered the visual arts.

"I wrote poetry from the time I was a very small child, but I had no interest in doing art," she said.

That changed when Gray signed up for a drawing class at age 75.

"It really opened up a whole new world to me because I found I could draw anything," she said.

Gray threw herself into watercolors and portraits and started dabbling in a technique called dot painting.

"I thought it was so beautiful and interesting and colorful," she said.

The folks at the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging agree and chose Gray's work to grace the programs and advertising for this year's "Celebrate Arts and Aging."

"We chose Diane's piece because it's so bright and cheerful," said Amanda Buonomo, Special Events Manager at PCA.

Gray says the work was her very first attempt at dot painting.

When she got the call that her painting would be the star of this year's program...

"She was over the moon, she was so excited," said Buonomo.

"All I could say was, "Oh my gosh, I think I said 'Oh, my gosh,' like, seven times," said Gray.

Gray loves walking the streets of Philadelphia and she's a lifelong learner, taking classes at Temple, acting at the local Senior Center, and line dancing. So what's next for this energetic 85-year-old?

"I think it's just a continuation of what I'm doing now. I really enjoy what I'm doing now," she said.

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