The Southern Utah Art Guild is inviting artists from the FUN ART program of Memory Matters Utah/Nevada to participate in their “Spring Forward” art show opening at the Red Cliff Art Gallery located at 220 N. 200 East in St. George, Utah. The opening reception will be on Friday, March 3rd from 4:00 until 7:00. The public can meet some of the artists and refreshments will be served. Admission is free.
FUN ART is a program that enriches the lives of people who are dealing with dementia. "This is a program that I have envisioned for 5 years, but had no one to take it on. Then came Harold Tanner, a respected artist with work hanging in galleries in three states," says LuAnn Lundquist, Memory Matters Utah founder and Executive Director. “For the past 2 years Harold has been to our dementia activity groups and facilities working with residents and getting them to paint. With his enthusiasm and energy, Harold connects with them on a fun level, hence the name FUN ART.” As the artist says, "This is not fine art we are doing. It is fun art. If it's not fun we are doing it wrong."
Memory Matters will be displaying 18 - 20 art pieces from our FUN ART participants. Most of the participating artists have never painted before. They have painted what makes them happy.
John Macumber, one of those artists, tells how he loves Thursdays because he gets to paint on canvas. "I love to paint now - on canvas without any lines." John went on to say how he now felt a connection to his father through his art. John explained, "When we were cleaning out my father's home we came across a framed pastel painting that he did in High School. It was beautiful. Father's life got busy with work and he never painted again. I have never painted, but now I get to and it makes me think of my dad."
Art is a way of expressing emotion and feeling when the area of the brain that finds words slows down. It is a new way of communicating that produces an object that brings pride and a feeling of achievement to the artist. For many of Memory Matters’ clients, it is one of the only things that they feel accomplished at in this phase of life.
“Having the public support this art showing will help reduce the stigma of Alzheimer's and related diseases. While they have lost so much with this disease, this is something that they gain,” said Lundquist.
The Memory Matters Utah art showing will showcase the FUN ART artists from the Memory Activity Class as well as five local facilities. Each piece of art will have a beautiful portrait of the artist along with their interview about the project.
Memory Matters Utah/Nevada is a local nonprofit organization that serves seniors with dementia illnesses and their caregivers. For more information about FUN ART or Memory Matters’ services see our website at www.memorymattersutah.org or call our office 435-319-0407.