Dayton exhibitions show the impact of art on Alzheimer’s disease

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Dayton Art Gallery highlights the impact of art on a person diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

For the second year in a row, the Dana L. Wiley Gallery within the Front Street buildings in Dayton has two simultaneous exhibitions: “Connections: Moments of Clarity” and “Enjoy Renunciation”.

Last year’s exhibitions highlighted the dark reality of Alzheimer’s disease. This year, they focus on the creative care and benefits that art can have on a person diagnosed with the disease.

“It’s about being in the moment when people are living with this disease. It’s about giving them a chance to express themselves, “said Galey owner Dana Wiley.

While the paint is dry, the pain is still fresh for Wiley with the two exhibits having special significance.

“My mother had dementia,” Wiley said crying. “Unfortunately, my mother passed away a few months ago from this disease, and what she did was that it really gave me the impetus to want to deliver this message to make sure people understood the urgency.”

In one exhibition, “Connections: Moments of Clarity,” the artists worked with residents at local memory care facilities.

Couples next to each other make an exhibition. The pieces on the left were created by people with Alzheimer’s or dementia; the works on the right were created by professional artists, using the original work as inspiration.

That exhibit magnifies Relish Relinquish in front of the gallery.

Artist Karen Fisher connected with one person in the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease – Rosie Monnin – and painted with her.

“Rosie has lost a lot of language. She was not communicative. But when she was painting, she would look for certain colors, ”said Fisher.

Diving even deeper, artist and director Gayle Nosal documented their interactions.

“Her facial expression should have come spontaneously, unwritten, and I just had to be there to witness it,” Nosal said.

Through their exchange, the two of them captured the essence of Rosie through art, despite the fact that the disease caught her.

“All the vibrancy of the colors you see here is Rosie,” Fisher said.

“I felt very happy to be able to be like a fly on the wall, but with a camera in my hand,” Nosal said.

Both exhibitions open a window to another world, putting a spotlight on the disease in a different way.

“Art is language, and you offer them the opportunity to continue to communicate and be a part of the world in that little moment,” Fisher said.

The couples in “Connections: Moments of Clarity” will be auctioned off at a virtual silent auction on May 14 to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association. There will also be a personal event on May 14 from 7pm to 9pm To find out more about ticket information or bidding, click here.

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