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  • Writer's pictureLickety Glitz

Wherefore ART thou? At ARTnow!

Updated: Dec 9, 2020

Portland Art Museum hosts ARTnow for people living with dementia.

Perhaps Romeo and Juliet suffered from early (like, really, really early) onset dementia since the hatred and murderous intent their two families had for each other completely slipped their minds as they fell in love. The pair certainly had early onset matrimony disease, and early onset suicide syndrome - those crazy kids! But they also inspired their share of magnificent artwork, such as Frank Dicksee's Romeo and Juliet to the left...

...or my very own rendition to the right.

Luckily, Mom has an artistic streak far superior to mine, so I'm excited that we've registered for the upcoming ARTnow course at the Portland Art Museum.

ARTnow is a partnership between the Oregon Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association and the Portland Art Museum, designed for folks in the early to mid-stages of dementia and their care partners. It's held on four Monday afternoons when the museum is closed to the public, and consists of an hour-long conversational tour in the galleries, followed by refreshments and an art-making activity where participants create artwork that reflects the theme of that day's class.

No art experience is required, and it is free. (However, being downtown at the art museum, I'm sure I'll rack up some parking ticket fees. I shake my fist at City Hall in anticipation!)

Reservations are now being accepted for the May/June 2018 session.

  • ARTnow @ Portland Art Museum - FREE

  • For more information or to register call Alzheimer's Association's helpline 1.800.272.3900 or email Heidi Rowell at the Oregon Chapter.

  • The May/June sessions are Monday afternoons, 12:45 to 3:00 pm: May 7th, May 14th, May 21st, and June 4th

ARTnow is specific to our local Oregon Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association, but there are many similar programs across the country such as here:now in Seattle (currently taking reservations), Art in the Moment in Chicago, and Meet Me at MOMA in NYC. Check with your local museums or contact your local chapter of the Alzheimer's Association for information on art therapy in your area.

Mom's response to her Opening Minds through Art classes has been fantastic, so I didn't hesitate to sign us up for ARTnow. Mom can no longer express her artistic nature through quilting, so redirecting that talent to artistic endeavors she can participate in has been crucial in keeping her connected to her old self while engaging with the new.

Of course, I'm in it for the FREE REFRESHMENTS, but the smile on Mom's face when she's made something beautiful is pretty darn good too.

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