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Memories In The Making Art Auction

Alzheimer’s Association Uses Art To Raise Money And Awareness

Above: Art specialist Denise McMurtry with one of her Alzheimer's patients in the Memories in the Making art therapy classes.

Aired 3/14/13 on KPBS News.

This Friday the Alzheimer’s Association of San Diego will hold its Memories in the Making Art Auction. See how art created by patients with Alzheimer’s is helping to raise awareness and money.

This Friday the Alzheimer’s Association of San Diego will hold its Memories in the Making Art Auction. See how art created by patients with Alzheimer’s is helping to raise awareness and money.

The Alzheimer’s Association of San Diego is a non-profit organization that supports people suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease, and the families and friends who care for them. Memories in the Making is an art program they sponsor.

"The Memories in the Making Art Program has been going on for 20 plus years and we’ve run the program in over 30 different locations here in San Diego County and it’s a therapeutic art program that allows people living with Alzheimer’s Disease to express themselves," says Mary Ball, President and CEO of the Alzheimer's Association of San Diego and Imperial County.

At the The VI La Jolla Village, art specialist Denise McMurtry is working with Alzheimer's patients.

"In this room the residents come in once a week and we work and stimulate memories of various childhood memories or different memories of life and translate that into a visual experience," says McMurtry.

Natalie Sabin Gore is a community artist working with the Alzheimer's Association for the first time.

"If you would look through the artwork that they do, you would see so many powerful statements about their, I think, their condition. To me it’s a way of expressing that for Alzheimer patients… it allows people to express something that they might not say in word, it’s very important," says Sabin Gore.

Natalie Sabin Gore was asked to do a pairing for the upcoming auction. This means selecting a painting created by an Alzheimer’s patient and creating a work of art to pair with it.

Credit: Alzheimer's Association

Community artist Natalie Sabin Gore with artist and Alzheimer's patient Barbara and their paired art.

"So I came down one day and went through paintings that Alzheimer’s patients had done and picked one that spoke to me, that one by a patient named Barbara."

Ball adds, "We’ve got 10 pairings like the pairing that you saw that Natalie Sabin Gore had done partnering with someone who has Alzheimer’s Disease and then we’ve got close to a hundred other pieces of artwork that will be auctioned off. Just a tremendous event both to educate the community about Alzheimer’s Disease and its terrible impact and then also raise support for the association and the programs we run."

In San Diego today there’s more than 60,000 people living with Alzheimer’s Disease and in the next 15 years those numbers are expected to double.

"Our Memories in the Making art program and it is a wonderful program," Ball states, "both to showcase tremendous artwork created by people living with Alzheimer’s Disease, celebrate artwork created by well known community artists and then of course to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association. Because we are completely dependent on philanthropy and the generosity of the community to provide all of our programs and services."

The Memories in the Making Art Auction takes place Friday at the University of San Diego.

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