The arts play an important role here in Southern California and I for one enjoy the creative expression of beauty artists exhibit. My colleague Anna Bowness-Park of Canada writes how the arts can transform lives of those with dementia. Her article was first published in the Vancouver Sun.
Watching her mother Hilda Gorenstein slowly disappear into the labyrinth of Alzheimers disease, Berna Huebner asked her: “Would you like to paint again?” Her mother, a celebrated and acclaimed painter known as Hilgos, responded: “Yes, I remember better when I paint.”
This small comment inspired her daughter to seek ways to help her mother reconnect with her artistic life, and with those around her. The doctor suggested to Huebner that she could link her mother with some students from the Art Institute of Chicago, and following this advice, several became involved with Hilgos. Slowly and patiently, Hilgos rediscovered what she loved to do best – paint. It was through her painting that Huebner was better able to communicate with her mother – not in the same way, but differently, and with a new language.
Following this experience, Huebner was inspired to make a documentary that explores how the arts can transform the lives of those living with different forms of dementia. Produced in collaboration with film director Eric Ellena, the movie, “I Remember Better When I Paint,” celebrates the courage of her mother who rediscovered her painting gift, and explores the experiences of others who are discovering the influence of art on cognitive ability.
Read the complete article here.