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Seniors with dementia create art to raise funds for Alzheimer's Association at adult day center

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Greeting cards featuring the art for sale at Town Square Sarasota, including work by renowned sculptor Bruce White

SARASOTA, Fla. - Amzeal -- In recognition of World Alzheimer's Month this September and in support of the Alzheimer's Association, Sarasota seniors with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia are creating art to be featured on fundraising greeting cards.

Artwork created by Bruce White, a professional sculptor and retired art professor, and other members of adult day center Town Square Sarasota are featured on the front of the cards. Town Square Sarasota is selling the cards to members, their families and the general public, and donating the proceeds to the Alzheimer's Association's Florida Gulf Coast chapter.

"We have so many talented artists here, creating these incredible pieces during our art classes," said Sherri Finn, who co-owns Town Square Sarasota with husband and business partner Michael Finn. "This spring, an artist asked me to throw away something he'd made. But I saw how amazing it was, and I turned it into a greeting card for him. The project took off from there."

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Over 10 talented Town Square Sarasota members have created art featured on the fundraising greeting cards. One is sculptor Bruce White, a retired professor of art from Northern Illinois University, who has produced many large-scale public works that are installed throughout the U.S. and abroad. In Sarasota, these include "Four Winds," at New College; "Meander," behind the Federal Building; and "Samurai," near Sarasota City Hall.

"Bruce had an extraordinary career as a sculptor, and here at Town Square Sarasota he has recently become prolific with colored pencils and is creating amazing art," said Town Square Sarasota co-owner Michael Finn. "Bruce's family has even indicated that his drawing at Town Square has migrated home, and they love to see him engaged again."

Town Square Sarasota's members, most of which have Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, use various media and materials to create the artwork featured on the cards – from watercolors, colored pencils and acrylic to felt, string, cotton and more. The 1950s-themed adult day center provides members with meaningful care, engagement and socialization, including frequent art classes.

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"Research suggests that artistic engagement can help ease the common behavioral symptoms of Alzheimer's disease like anxiety, depression and agitation," said Jill Grinnell, Town Square Sarasota's Center Director. "It can also boost mood and self-esteem and create a pathway for emotional expression. In our art classes, we've seen members with no previous interest in art become passionate about daily projects and former artists who have rekindled their passion."

Over the past few months, Town Square Sarasota and its members have created and sold greeting cards that have resulted in donations of over $1,115 to the Alzheimer's Association.

Town Square Sarasota

Source: Town Square Sarasota
Filed Under: Health

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