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Alzheimer's Patients' Artwork on Exhibit Tonight in Springfield

At least 20 pieces of art will be on display and available for purchase tonight (11/29) at Panera Bread, 3837 S. Campbell. The pieces—everything from landscapes to sculptures--were created by those in the early to middle stages of Alzheimer’s.

It’s part of the program “Memories in the Making,” which allows Alzheimer’s patients to express themselves through art.  Some who attend the program are already accomplished artists.  Others learn from an instructor who facilitates the program.

Rob Hulstra, community outreach coordinator for the Alzheimer’s Association, Southwest Missouri Chapter, says Memories in the Making was started in the late 80s in California…

"The premise of the program was, with Alzheimer's disease, especially toward the middle stages, expressing oneself can be  very difficult, but a little bit of paint at the end of a brush and people can let their feelings out, and it's some incredible artwork that comes through."

Hulstra says the pieces tonight will consist of portraits, landscapes and still life drawings.  One client excels in assemblage art—taking odd bits and pieces and putting them together to create sculptures.  She’ll have a piece in the exhibit tonight.

He says success may not come as easily for Alzheimer’s patients, and this program provides a sense of accomplishment…

"Something like this brings a tremendous amount of enjoyment, comraderie and just being able to do something that's a little outside the normal daily routine.  We've had people attending this program for at least two and a half years, and they keep coming back."

The exhibit is tonight from 5 to 9 at Panera Bread in the Parkcrest Shopping Center.  Ten percent of proceeds tonight at Panera and money from the sale of the artwork will go to the Alzheimer’s Association, Southwest Missouri Chapter.

For KSMU News, I’m Michele Skalicky.