ARTISTS CREATE SPECIAL WORKS OF ART FOR ALZHEIMER AUCTION

ARTISTS CREATE SPECIAL WORKS OF ART FOR ALZHEIMER AUCTION

By Libby Connally

 

 

 

ABILENE, TX – This year, Steppin’ Out for Memories, the annual dinner and auction for the Alzheimer’s Association, will include framed paintings by people with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia. Even more exciting, six local artists are creating and donating works of art of their own in response to a favorite painting by someone with memory loss. The work by the professional artist and the artist with dementia will be auctioned as pairs at the April 9 event. The artists with memory loss participate in Memories in the Making®, an art program for people with dementia offered by the Alzheimer’s Association. The program is hosted by Windcrest Alzheimer’s Care Center in Abilene and 25 other long term care communities throughout the Chapter’s 40 county service area. {{more}}“Painting with watercolors is very therapeutic for people with memory loss,” explains Lisa Buck, Memories in the Making Coordinator. “It restores a means of self expression to people whose dementia has robed them of other avenues of creativity.” Painters in the program create highly personal, original works of art. Some with dementia tell stories of long ago, while others use line and color to create beautiful abstractions. The titles and stories the artists tell about their paintings offer clues to their lives and memories.San Angelo artist Lisa Nichols chose a painting by Imogene Pogue entitled Good Morning. “It’s just what morning looks like,” said Imogene of her painting, with its low, flat horizon and sky of pinks and blues. Nichols, who works in a traditional, naturalistic style, selected the painting for the beautiful colors. “It is a sweet painting, a happy painting.” she explained. It turns out that Imogene and Lisa have a lot in common. Both were born and raised in West Texas. Imogene was born to hard working parents in the Panhandle town of Hereford in 1919. Lisa was born on a ranch in Big Spring to one of the original families to settle there.Both have several college degrees, raised children and have been active in the Baptist church. Imogene earned degrees from Wayland Baptist College and West Texas State University before earning a degree in religious education at the Southwest Baptist Seminary in Fort Worth. In 1945, she returned to West Texas with her new husband, Russell, to raise four children and stand with her husband in ministry at the small Panhandle churches he pastored. Imogene was a leader in Woman’s Mission Union throughout Baptist churches in the Panhandle, and later in Bosque County.Lisa earned an art degree from Howard College in Big Spring and a BA in communication and MS in psychology from Angelo State University. She has three children and directs Big Brothers Big Sisters San Angelo. Lisa was unaware of the West Texas connection when she selected the painting but agrees that the work evokes a Panhandle sunrise. “I like things to look like they look,” says Lisa, who plans to use Imogene’s name in her painting.Other artists who are creating work especially for the auction are Kent Connally and Cara Holt, of Abilene; Barbara Barnhart Rallo, Mejo Okon and Janice Petty of San Angelo; and Joy Missildine, Tyler.Steppin’ Out for Memories takes place Saturday, April 9, in the Abilene Country Club Ballroom and offers an Italian buffet dinner, dancing to the Freeride Band and an auction. The event is from 6:30 to 11 pm and tickets cost $55. Attire for the event is country casual. All proceeds go to support the programs and services the Alzheimer’s Association offers in the Abilene area. For more information call 352-672-2907 or visit www.alz.org/northcentraltexas.The mission of the Alzheimer’s Association is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.