Art exhibition to raise awareness of memory loss

SUNY Oswego will open a display of art Friday, Jan. 31, that seeks to raise awareness of diseases causing memory loss.

A free public opening reception for “Recollection: A Memory Loss Awareness Project” will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. that day in Tyler Art Gallery on campus. It will run through March 1, concurrently with SUNY Oswego’s 51st annual Juried Student Exhibition.

Ann Thayer of Alzheimer's Association's Leatherstocking Region consults with SUNY Oswego art therapy instructor Melissa Seeley CardoneThe admission-free “Recollections” exhibition began with open workshops in December. In the first session, Elizabeth Boivin, director and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association of Northeastern New York, instructed participants in using discussions of artworks as an engagement activity for those with memory loss.

Ann Thayer, program manager for the Leatherstocking Region of the Alzheimer’s Association of Northeastern New York, followed up with a “Memories in the Making” session on using watercolor painting to engage people with memory loss.

Some of the works in the exhibition are by SUNY Oswego art faculty member Rebecca Mushtare’s students, who used the technology and raw materials of recordable greeting cards to make informational and inspirational cards for those with Alzheimer’s and related diseases.

Bridging the gap

Students of art department chair Cynthia Clabough created public-awareness posters to bridge misunderstandings about memory loss. Student Stephanie Armour’s logo design, featuring a footbridge, was selected to help brand the exhibition.

“Bridges connect places and people and materials together in a similar way that we hope to raise awareness and develop a community of people who want to improve the quality of life of those impacted by dementia,” Clabough said. “Dementia impacts an individual’s brain and the connections between past and present—sometimes those bridges work well, and at other times the bridges break down. Dementia and memory loss can be trying for those impacted, but that impact also brings people together like bridges do.”

Residents at St. Luke’s Health Services in Oswego also will display watercolors created in “Memories in the Making,” an over 25-year-old program to use painting as an engagement activity for those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

A film, “Quick Brown Fox,” will play continuously in the gallery. It chronicles the struggles of the mother of Seattle filmmaker Ann Hedreen with Alzheimer’s disease.
In addition to “Recollection” and the juried student exhibition opening that night, the “Guerrilla Gorilla Grad Art Exhibition” will display recent work of SUNY Oswego students in master’s-related art programs from 5 to 7 p.m. on Jan. 31 in the Student Gallery, Room 21 of Tyler Hall.

Tyler Art Gallery is open 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays when college is in session.

Parking for Tyler Art Gallery patrons without a current SUNY Oswego parking permit is $1. For more information, visit oswego.edu/administration/parking. Parking is available in the employee and commuter lots east of Culkin Hall, the college’s seven-story main administration building.

An altered version of the “Recollections” exhibition will take place March 7 to April 18 at the SUNY Oswego Metro Center’s gallery in downtown Syracuse’s Atrium on Clinton Square.

PHOTO CAPTION: Making memories—Ann Thayer, left, program manager for the Alzheimer’s Association’s Leatherstocking Region, consults with SUNY Oswego art therapy instructor Melissa “Seeley” Cardone at a “Memories in the Making” volunteer training session on campus in December. The program trained local individuals to use painting as an engagement activity for those with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. An exhibition of artwork seeking to raise awareness of memory-loss diseases will take place Jan. 31 to March 1 in SUNY Oswego’s Tyler Art Gallery.

(Posted: Jan 15, 2014)

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