Real Words of Wisdom from People Ages 7 to 88 by Susan O'Malley
What advice would your 80-year-old self give you? That is the question artist Susan O'Malley, who was herself to die far too young, asked more than a hundred ordinary people of every age, from every walk of life. She then transformed their responses into vibrant text-based images.
From a prompt to do things that matter to your heart, to a reminder that it's okay to have sugar in your tea, these are calls to action and words to live by—heartfelt, sometimes humorous, and always fiercely compassionate. This stirring celebration of our collective humanity unveils the wisdom we hold inside ourselves right now.
Susan O'Malley (1976–2015) was an internationally exhibited artist and curator based in the San Francisco Bay Area. As curator and print center director at the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, she worked with hundreds of artists and organized more than fifty exhibitions and public programs. As an artist, she made work that brings a sense of interconnectedness into our lives, from conversations with strangers to installations in public places. The impact of her work has traveled far and wide.
O'Malley's artwork has been exhibited in public projects across the United States—San Francisco, New York, Nashville—and around the globe in the United Kingdom, Poland, and Denmark. Her project A Healing Walk is permanently installed at Villa Montalvo. The powerful optimism of her work lives on.