Parkville, Maryland—Dolores Andrew may have "retired" after 25 years as an adjunct professor at the Community College of Baltimore County. But she hasn't stopped working.
A professional artist and a designer with a BFA degree from Syracuse University and an MFA in Art Education from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Mrs. Andrew currently serves as an instructor, a published author on topics in art history, a guest lecturer and a jurist at shows across the mid-Atlantic.
She has resided at Oak Crest, an Erickson Living retirement community in northeast Baltimore County, with her husband, Hugh, since 2004.
"Hugh is my 'roadie', and we enjoy traveling immensely. Living at Oak Crest has given us a feeling of security and comfort while we are on the road. We are busy but enjoying new experiences at each location," described Mrs. Andrew.
A sampling of her schedule in 2018 is proof of that dedication.
In February, she judged a prestigious needlework show at Woodlawn Plantation in Alexandria, Virginia. In March, she spent eight days at the annual Assembly of the National Academy of Needlearts (NAN) in Troy, Michigan. A certified Master Teacher and Master Judge, Mrs. Andrew judged the Exemplary, an exhibit of needleart designed and stitched by the top professional and non-professional needle workers in the United States.
In April, Mrs. Andrew spent time in Garret County, Maryland for an embroidery workshop and teaching.
The summer months are no vacation for Mrs. Andrew or her husband, either. They will be frequent visitors to the Eastern Shore of Maryland for more teaching assignments. In July and August, Mrs. Andrew will teach and participate in art programs with the Rehoboth Beach Historical Society, even serving as chair for its national show.
"I love turning people on to art. I've taught housewives and surgeons, and whether they are beginners or more advanced in their skills, the entire process is fascinating. I learn, too," noted Mrs. Andrew.
Her apartment home at Oak Crest is a short drive from her studio in nearby Riderwood where she hones her skills in many media. "Sometimes, it's fun to be able to relax and paint for pleasure in a quiet area," Mrs. Andrew said.
She has authored three books on art topics that span from medieval tapestry to Italian Renaissance textile designs, and she has embraced technology with her website, doloresandrewdesigns.com.
"The website is a marketing tool, but it's especially essential in the art community," noted Mrs. Andrew. "We can post my needlework designs, information about my books and a schedule of where I have been and where I will be going."
As one who is still engaged in her work, Mrs. Andrew is not alone. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, men and women working past the traditional retirement age are the fastest growing segment in the workforce. Labor force participation among 65 to 74 year olds is expected to reach 32 percent by 2022, up from 20 percent in 2002.
"There are good reasons to continue working," says Dorian Mintzer, Ph.D., a retirement transitions coach and co-author of The Couple's Retirement Puzzle. "Work can provide a sense of connection, engagement, purpose, and meaning, all essential components of well-being."
She is in good company with her peers at the community in northeastern Baltimore County.
"Our residents are amazing people," noted Mark Roussey, Executive Director of Oak Crest. "They are changing the traditional concept of retirement, taking advantage of opportunities to volunteer, travel and, in the case of Dolores, continue to pursue career endeavors. Our team is proud to offer them a worry-free environment so they can live to the fullest."
"Art continues to be my life's passion. It has taken me across the Chesapeake Bay and throughout the world, and I enjoy the entire experience immensely," said Mrs. Andrew.