The Art of Alzheimer’s


In January 2016, the UW Memory and Brain Wellness Center, the home of the UW ADRC, joins the Art of Alzheimer’s in presenting The Artist Within: A Different View of Dementia.

This free art exhibition is being held at Seattle City Hall and is cosponsored by the City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, and 4Culture. The exhibit features fifty fascinating artworks by individuals ages 60 to 101 who are living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. These surprising, delightful, and inspiring works of art open us up to a different way of thinking about dementia. They allow us to see that—although the minds of the artists may have changed—they are still here, living with dignity, creativity, and joy.

The exhibition runs Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., from January 7, 2016, to February 26, 2016. In addition to the exhibition, everyone is invited to attend the following special events, all of which are free:

Opening Reception, January 7, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Meet some of the artists and their families. Enjoy light hors d’oeuvres, tour the exhibition, and learn from care providers and other experts about art programs that are open to people with dementia and their care partners.

Tour & Discussion, January 13, noon. Dr. Thomas Grabowski, the director of the UW Memory and Brain Wellness Center at Harborview, and Dr. Marcus E. Raichle, a professor of radiology, neurology, neurobiology, and biomedical engineering at Washington University in St. Louis who was recently awarded the 2014 Kavli Prize Laureate in Neuroscience, will discuss how artistic creativity often remains intact in people living with memory loss and dementia. They will also discuss the power of art to greatly enhance well-being and quality of life.

Poetry Reading, January 20, noon. Lon Cole, Esther Helfgott, and Lori Kane will share their poetry and experiences with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Free Painting Class, January 28, 11 a.m. & 1 p.m. These sessions will be led by a trained art professional. Space is limited, so sign up before January 25 at theartofalzheimers.net.

Read more about art opportunities for people with dementia in our 2015 issue of Dimensions here.