Two Local Artists Enter CC Young’s Exhibition & Competition

Two locaL artists in CC Young exhibition
Midlothian artist Vickie Ratlif; photo courtesy Michelle Metzger

Two local artists have entered pieces in the CC Young Senior Living “Spirit is Ageless Art & Writing Contest and Exhibition.” The exhibition and competition is open to the public, now through Oct. 27.

Celestine Todd is a 69-year-old Desoto resident, and a graduate of South Oak Cliff High School. After retiring in 2016, Todd says she had “grand plans with friends to travel the world and have a lot of fun,” but that didn’t pan out. She said that ever since the COVID quarantines, most of her neighbors don’t even come outside any more.

Local Artist Celestine Todd

Two local artists at CC Young exhibition
DeSoto artist Celestine Todd, photo courtesy Michelle Metzger

Todd started painting for the first time after her retirement, and her granddaughter encouraged her to enter the CC Young “Spirit Is Ageless Art & Writing Contest and Exhibition.”

“I didn’t even know I could draw or paint until I retired,” she said. “This has become freedom to me.”

“Retirement’s Duality: Crowned” is Todd’s artwork that’s now on display in this year’s Spirit Is Ageless Exhibition. The painting depicts what Todd thought it would be like to retire and what it actually ended up being. Since discovering her artistic talents, Todd has become a local celebrity, with a one-woman show of her work at a local community center.

Todd encourages other retirees to consider embarking on their own art adventure. She advises them to “just get some watercolors and start making marks or circles on the page.”

Midlothian Artist Vickie Ratlif

Vickie Ratlif is a 67-year-old resident of Midlothian, and a graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School in Dallas. After raising her two daughters, Ratliff said she started working with glass because she enjoyed the detail and structure involved in that work.

She then moved to painting, which she says seemed like the next challenge. The subjects of her art helped inspire her attention to detail, she notes, because she wanted to get their facial expressions “just right.”

CC Young exhibition
Photo courtesy Michelle Metzger

Ratliff has two pieces in this year’s Spirit Is Ageless Art & Writing Contest and Exhibition. “Trail Ride” depicts her grandchildren on horseback, and her “Joy of Running” painting shows her daughter running.

“My daughter really loves to run, and I wanted to make sure I captured the joy on her face when she is doing it,” Ratliff said.

This was her eighth time to enter the CC Young exhibition, Ratlif said, adding “It’s cool to see what everyone still can do, and it inspires you to keep going.”

The exhibition runs now through Fri., Oct. 27 at The Point on the CC Young campus, and is open to the public. CC Young Senior Living is located at 4847 West Lawther Drive in Dallas, phone 214-949-1926. Their mission is “To foster premier environments where every life at every stage is valued and enriched.” For more information, please visit

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Jo Ann Holt
Jo Ann Holt is an award-winning journalist with 40+ years of experience as a writer and editor. She loves live performances, from country music concerts to Broadway musicals to community theatre productions. Holt also enjoys art and cultural festivals, and good food and wine. She’s toured Amsterdam, London, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, and various cities in Mexico but looks forward to visiting even more countries. She has traveled by boat, plane, and train, but especially likes taking long road trips across the U.S. with her husband, retired history professor Durhl Caussey. They enjoy meeting friendly people, learning about different cultures, and visiting historic sites wherever they go.