World champion quilt challenge: Eight go head-to-head to fight Alzheimer’s

The Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative is a national, grassroots effort to raise awareness and fund research. It auctions and sells donated quilts through the Priority: Alzheimer’s Quilt project and sponsors a national tour of quilts about Alzheimer’s.

via Alzheimer’s Reading Room: World Champion Quilt Challenge: Eight Go Head-to-Head to Fight Alzheimer’s.

Florida Keys artist doesn’t let Down syndrome stand in her way – Florida Keys –

In 1971, a doctor told Barbara Edgar she might as well put her 9-day-old daughter, Cinnamon, in an institution right away because that’s where children with Down syndrome end up.

“That was horrible to say,” said Jean Eyster, Cinnamon’s grandmother. “And if it happened, oh, what we would have missed.”

Today, Cinnamon Edgar — now 38 — has her own business, Florida Keys Art by Cinnamon. She sells her colorful watercolor paintings, note cards and scenic photography of sunsets, palm trees and wildlife to about 55 clients from Key Largo to Marathon. Four years into the business, she’s sold about 20,000 note cards and art pieces at luxury resort gift shops, souvenir stores, visitor centers and art festivals.

One of her photos — of a palm-tree lined beach — adorned the cover of The Real Yellow Pages in 2008 for the Florida Keys.

via Florida Keys artist doesn’t let Down syndrome stand in her way – Florida Keys –

Tying Your Own Shoes: A film featuring artists with Down syndrome

The film “Tying Your Own Shoes” features artists with Down syndrome who were given a chance to create animated self portraits. Here, a trailer for the film and a review from the Toronto Star, which calls the short film “nothing short of wonderful.”

`I’m a little bit unusual but I’m fine.”

As apt a description of Down syndrome – or any diversity, for that matter – as you are likely to hear.

It comes from a sweet and insightful short film Tying Your Own Shoes, 16 minutes of wisdom and whimsy from four artists with Down syndrome. They were part of a summer animation workshop offered by filmmaker Shira Avni, who challenged them to create self-portraits on celluloid. The results are nothing short of wonderful.

via Short film offers wisdom from artists with Down syndrome –


Art therapy for autism

Here’s a post by a blogger who visited a Memphis museum with a staff art therapist to talk about art therapy and autism. Very interesting and exciting for those of you in Tennessee!

Yesterday my husband and I went on a field trip. Yes, grown ups still go on field trips. This one was very special to us. We are the founders of a non-profit for children and families affected by autism and we received an email from the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. Sidebar: what a wonderful place! Anyway, they were thinking of putting of putting on an exhibit in the fall that focused on autism therapy. And, they thought of The Dockery Foundation! We were thrilled, to say the very least!

via Art Therapy for Autism | autisable.

Dorothy Bowman: An artist with Alzheimer’s still creates art

Dorothy Bowman, 83, is an artist whose work has hung at the Smithsonian and is included in many collections, including at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Library of Congress. Bowman was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2000. She paints every day, which she tells The Salinas Californian in the story posted below, makes her feel good.

Artistic talent shines through cloud of Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s disease has darkened Dorothy Bowman’s blue sky and scattered confusion across her pathway.Yet, flashes of creative clarity still break through whenever the 83-year-old Bowman, a professional artist of note before Alzheimer’s arrived, picks up a paintbrush.”Painting makes me feel good,” Bowman said. “I feel more calm.”She settled into a chair placed in the sunshine beaming through the sliding glass door of her room in Windsor Gardens Rehabilitation Center, 637 E. Romie Lane in Salinas.Bowman wore a pink dress. A pink knit shawl draped her shoulders. Daily, she sits and works at a small table.Callia Benson, one of Bowman’s daughters and her caregiver for two years, watched her mother apply delicate touches of paint to an emerging image.”Watercolor on watercolor paper. It seems to give her purpose,” Benson said. “It reminds her who she is.”Her art is, in part, a diary of change, as she is now affected by Alzheimer’s disease.”

via Artistic talent shines through cloud of Alzheimer’s | | The Salinas Californian.

Cleveland Clinic and Cleveland Art Museum team up for Alzheimer’s program

Two of Cleveland’s biggest institutions — the Cleveland Clinic and the Cleveland Art Museum — are working together to make the museum’s art more accessible to Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. In this post, the Alzheimer’s Reading Room suggests bringing the program to the attention of your local museum or library.

According to Kaye Spector in an article on, in Alzheimer’s disease, “areas that govern emotion, perception and creativity often remain intact.”Forty tour leaders at the Cleveland Museum of Art are being taught how to tailor tours to patients that have Alzheimer’s disease. These special tours will begin this summer.Physicians in the Cleveland area are being advised to encourage dementia patients and their caregivers to sign up for these tours. Apparently, similar tours are already being offered at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

via Alzheimer’s Reading Room: Cleveland Clinic and Cleveland Art Museum Team Up for Alzheimer’s Program.

Google SketchUp lets children with autism create

Ever since its 2000 debut by two Colorado software designers, SketchUp has been known as a cutting-edge 3D modeling computer program for architects. By pushing a cursor around downloadable objects, designers created two-dimensional scenes that could later be rendered three-dimensional with editing tools.

Today those same innovations are being tested at the University of Utah’s department of Family and Consumer Studies to expand the skills of children with autism spectrum disorders, thanks to a partnership with Google and Universal Creative Studios,

U. Department chair Cheryl Wright said she was cautious of initial claims that autistic children took to the software. By the end of a workshop earlier this month, she was sold.

“One boy walked in and said, ‘I don’t want to draw!’” Wright said. “But by the end, he had all these ideas of what he wanted to create.”

via Google SketchUp lets children with autism create – Salt Lake Tribune.

Activities for Autistic Children

Autistic children need challenging, yet fun, activities that they can participate in on a daily basis. Should they be expected to participate in all of the activities that other children engage in? Of course not, but there are numerous activities for autistic children to enjoy. …

Selecting Activities for Autistic Children

Consider an autistic child’s capabilities, interests, and aptitude as you search for appropriate activities for him or her to enjoy.

* Sensory activities-Games that include the senses are often enjoyed by these children. For example, play the game “I Spy” with your children. Describe the object that you are looking at, and see if the children can find and name that object from your description.

via Activities for Autistic Children – LoveToKnow Autism.

Wisconsin museum helps to ‘Spark’ Alzheimer’s patients’ memories

The Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum is debuting an educational program that’s sparking a lot of interest.

It’s called ‘Spark’ and it’s designed specifically for individuals with memory loss or Alzheimer’s disease.

In a casual gathering, participants and their loved ones will look at different pieces of art.

The experience is meant to evoke conversation and pleasant memories.

“And it’s really not about curing or finding a way to fix the memory loss, it’s a way to spark conversation and have a moment,” says Jayna Hintz, Curator of Education.

via Local Museum Helping To ‘Spark’ Memory for Those With Alzheimer’s.