• Miriam Bingham

Super Agers: Artist Shirley Woodson is Aging with Passion and Style

When a visual artist is featured on CBS Sunday Morning, you know they’ve made their mark on the art world. Detroit artist and educator, Shirley Woodson, has earned accolades for her work and is currently making news for her first one-woman show at the Detroit Institute of Arts.


Her Shield of the Nile series, which she began working on in 1984, is on display until June 12.

At 85 years of age, Woodson is a super ager, at the height of her career and continuing her life’s work with no plans of stopping any time soon.

“A creative life is always rejuvenating and always positive,” said Woodson.

A Kresge Eminent Artist, she says her love of art started at a very young age, back when she was in elementary school.

Looking back over the years and looking forward toward more time to create, Woodson says she wholeheartedly embraces her age with the confidence that her work isn’t finished just yet.

“I know my current age but I know how I feel,” says Woodson. “I feel 21. I mean, I feel that I am just beginning. You’re always just beginning. I mean, you’re, like, never finished.”

She says her formula for living each day with purpose is to take everything day by day. And the biggest factor, she says, is making sure to be the creator of her own life story.

“Take care of your body as best you can. Keep your indulgences at a rate that you can manage. And the big thing is that you’ll be in charge. You take charge of what you’re going to do.”

Super Agers are people who defy aging stereotypes and are living their best lives at 70 years old, 80 years old, and beyond. If you know a Super Ager, let us know who they are so we can share their story.

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