Through Our Eyes: An Exhibition of Art Works by People with Dementia

Two years ago, Jackie Day, President and CEO of the Long Island Museum, teamed up with Darlene Jyringi, Program Director of the department’s Alzheimer’s Disease Assistance Center, to create a program that makes the cultural and educational resources of the museum accessible to people with Alzheimer’s disease. Once or twice a month, groups of people with dementia tour the museum to engage in discussions of the museum’s carriages and other artifacts. The program is designed to spark imagination and evoke memories in a safe and welcoming environment.

This winter, the museum took the concept a step farther by hosting an exhibition of art works produced by people with dementia. In collaboration with Day Haven Adult Services of Port Jefferson they sponsored an exhibition of 24 pieces called Through Our Eyes. Ms. Jyringi served as a member of the committee that selected the works for the exhibition, which was attended by 110 people.

“Observing art created by individuals with Alzheimer’s disease is truly a gift,” Ms. Jyringi said. “The person’s diagnosis is no longer the focus. Rather, it is the art that becomes the expression of their unique identity.”