Sometimes large sculptures, artifacts and historic architecture need a touch-up. When that time comes, one team that often gets the call to assist in the preservation work is RLA Conservation, one of the companies that has signed AARP's Employer Pledge affirming the value of older workers.
With more than 20 employees split between two studios in Miami and Los Angeles, RLA is one of the larger firms in the field of art conservations, according to Rosa Lowinger, its president and chief conservator. In recent years, her teams have handled projects nationwide, including relocating the massive 1963 mural Extending the Arms of Christ from the main entrance at Houston Methodist Hospital and cleaning soot-covered sculptures damaged by wildfires on the West Coast.
Conservation work requires a demanding mix of physical skills, patience and big-picture vision, Lowinger says. Those are valuable skills that she's found older workers bring to her multigenerational staff. Lowinger recently spoke with AARP about why her firm signed the Employer Pledge. The following excerpts from that conversation have been edited and condensed for clarity and brevity.