Lifelong Artists: Living Your Legacy

Sarah Kavage
Marne Lucas
Laura Sullivan Cassidy
Nichole DeMent

Sunday, October 29th, 2023

1:00-4:00 PM (PST)

Pratt Fine Art Center

As the days grow shorter and the seasons turn towards winter, we take this opportunity to turn inwards and reflect on life’s passage with a participatory, artist led workshop about art and aging. This candid, powerful, event will feature intersecting takes on mortality and artistic practice, encouraging participants to reflect upon and honor their own legacies. Artists of all ages are invited to gather for friendship, food, and great conversation at the McMillen Foundation’s first in-person event since the pandemic began.

Join us for this in person event on Sunday, October 29th 1:00-4:00pm at Pratt Fine Art Center. Light refreshments will be served.

About the artists and the mini workshops that will be offered at this event:

Sarah Kavage – 2023 McMillen Fellow Sarah Kavage is a visual artist and cultural organizer who creates large scale, public projects that examine human relationships with place. Kavage has worked across the US, cultivating long term creative relationships to places. The result is typically ephemeral and generative, grounded in social engagement. Her work along Seattle’s Duwamish River goes back to 2006 and continues to this day. From 2018-2021 she served as lead artist for Lenapehoking~Watershed, an ambitious series of 15 temporary artworks about the landscapes and communities of the Delaware River watershed.

Sarah will be leading an opening meditation and land-based invocation for the event.


Marne Lucas – Marne Lucas is a multidisciplinary artist, community health activist and end of life doula based in  NYC and Portland, Oregon, working at the intersection of art, science and health. Lucas uses conceptual overlaps: life’s energy, intimacy, the body, mortality and transformation in her social practice investigations. An infrared thermal video pioneer, Marne uses heat-sensitive military grade imaging technology associated with surveillance to illuminate the magic and fragility of human life cycles. The ‘Bardo ∞ Project’ explores creativity as a form of spiritual care in collaborations with terminally ill artists nationwide to establish their legacy. Towards this, Lucas received training as an End-of-Life Doula, a non-medical role that supports the dying and their families, and works in private practice.

Participants will randomly select from a bowl of prompts on death, dying, legacy, grief, transformation, to read to themselves, meditate on, share aloud if they wish, and make a collage inspired by their prompts. There will be time for group reflection, and I also provide a list of links available to living wills, end of life care planning options, Medical Aid in Dying information, and health care proxy forms. In being better prepared for the end of life we live more fully in the present!


Laura Sullivan Cassidy – Laura Sullivan Cassidy is a writer/editor, creative coach + consultant, artist, and grief and death care worker. These things come together via Soft Data, a platform she founded in 2021, where she uses a background in journalism and creative direction alongside training in positive psychology, personal development, and end-of-life care to help folks attune to their stories. To understand how and what their story could be, and how to shape it, share it, and expand it. This has highly practical as well as personal applications; she works as often with entrepreneurs as stuck artists. Laura also writes and edits a Substack publication called Griever’s Ball.

LAURA’s EXPERIENCE: Sometimes it’s challenging to claim the ideas and labels we most want to claim. To say the words much less write them down—much less live our way into them. Luckily, there’s a beautiful and artful tradition that stretches from medieval magic to Golden Dawn-era mysticism to modern day spirituality that we can draw on and adapt for ourselves. In some ways this practice is as simple as crafting a personal emblem or seal (as in stamped impressions in wax or clay); in other ways it’s wonderfully abstract and open. My way of adapting this tradition is part-collage, part-monogram, and part-self portraiture. Don’t worry, it’ll all make sense—and be incredibly approachable and accomplishable.


Nichole DeMent – Nichole DeMent is an artist, cultural producer and consultant with over 20 years experience in  the Pacific Northwest nonprofit arts. She currently serves as the Executive Director of SOLA (Support of Old Lady Artists). Previously, she supported mature artists with ongoing professional development and end of career archiving support through Artist Trust’s Creating a Living Legacy (CALL) Program, a partnership with the Joan Mitchell Foundation, where she was also trained as a Legacy Specialist. Nichole has a passion for inspiring artists of all kinds and has taught art, and the business of it, through higher education institutions including Pacific Lutheran University, Photo Center Northwest, and Cornish College of the Arts. In all she does, Nichole’s mission is to elevate creativity and artists to their rightful place in society.

NICHOLE’S EXPERIENCE: Working from SOLA’s new publication, “Famous Female Artist: Planning for Success,” SOLA Executive Director, Nichole DeMent will facilitate a mini workshop about balancing life and career based on the Wheel of Life worksheet. Working with partners, attendees will also complete the Action Matrix worksheet to align top priorities to achieve greater balance and better understand what that is for each artist.

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