If you didn't see yesterday's blog post, "Reflections Under the Tree, Part 1" <- click or scroll down and read it before you continue! :)
Tracy Partin works at the Petersburg Home for Ladies , a beautiful assisted living place for women, and she is a big advocate for Alzheimer's benefits. When she learned about my "Remember Me" annual fundraiser, she thought back to the "Three Mees and Trees" drawing she had seen on my business card at her birthday party and told me how, to her, she felt it could represent the past, present and future of Alzheimer's disease.
I suggested that the least detailed girl (with the white hair) could symbolize how little we used to know about Alzheimer's, the middle slightly more detailed one could represent the new things we know about the disease currently, and the most detailed girl on the end could represent our hopeful future knowledge in Alzheimer's research.
She asked that I make a few changes to the painting; to give it more of an Impressionist style and to change the forest to a magnolia tree, and said that it could potentially be approved and commissioned by the Petersburg Home for Ladies if done correctly. If it were to be approved, it would be displayed in the Magnolia Wing, the location of the Memory Hall which is the home of those who have Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. So while Tracy worked to get an appointment with the Board at the Home for Ladies, I got to work on a practice painting that she could show during the meeting:
Tracy presented my painting to the Board and it was approved!! I was given the funds to create our idea that the Board named "Reflections under the Tree" and I got started immediately on the requested size, 24x36" on smooth clayboard. The photos below show my progress:
One of the best parts about working with Tracy, was that she really trusted me with this painting. There was no criticism, she was happy with my work and amazingly, so was the Board. She even trusted me to frame the painting myself (which I am very proud of!). See below:
After the painting was complete we made plans to meet at the Home last Friday, the 21st. I packaged up the painting and drove off to Petersburg excited and a little nervous about meeting everyone.
When I arrived, Tracy took me on a tour of the beautiful Home. She introduced me to many of the Board members and they immediately hung my painting in the Memory Hall and took photos of me next to it. I felt like a celebrity!
Then Tracy showed me more of the Memory Hall. I got to see how the doors of the women's rooms are painted in bright colors, since many of them have trouble remembering their names, but find colors harder to forget. Then she introduced me to the staff in the Memory Hall and told the story of my painting to those who hadn't been in the Board meeting to hear it the first time. She told them how I saw the painting, then she told them her interpretation which was harder to take in. I stood in the room that was in the winding down stages of a birthday celebration for these women who couldn't remember their own names while Tracy spoke of how she felt the painting showed the loss of identity. How the painted woman on the right had all of the characteristics that made her who she is, then slowly she loses herself. In the end she is still the same person, but so many traits of her personality have been stolen by this disease - leaving her to be an outline of her former self. It took all I had not to cry while she expanded upon how this painting made her feel. Being in the Memory Hall, in the midst of these women I'm fighting for, broke my heart. At the same time I felt that sense of purpose pounding in my chest. THIS is why I make art. For the victims of Alzheimer's and for those who love them.
Photo by Kristin Partin
Tracy also told me that the Board is having note cards made with my painting on them. Once printed, they will be sold and all the proceeds will go to the women in need who live at the Home for Ladies. Kristin Partin took the photo of my painting that will be on the card. If anyone is interested in purchasing some of these cards to benefit these sweet women, please let me know.
So much has changed since 2007, but my cause has stayed the same. Always art. Always memories. Always the need for physical evidence to show the importance of holding onto our identities.
Remember Me - Art for Memories.
Will you join me? I have about $200 left to raise. Just think of the difference we could make if each person who reads this blog gave just $1 before December 1st. You can do so by clicking here. You will be helping the men and women who suffer from this heartbreaking disease. You will be showing that these people STILL matter, whether they remember it or not. They need us and so do the families that care for them. Let's make a difference together.
From the bottom of my heart I want to thank the following:
Kristin Partin for all your kind words of encouragement, for introducing me to your amazing mom, and for taking the photo of my painting for the notecards. You are so talented!
Tracy Partin, without whom none of this would have been possible. You fought for this painting the way we should all fight against this disease. You have reminded me of my purpose as an artist and have improved the lives of so many with the hard work that you do. You're wonderful.
Lastly, the Petersburg Home for Ladies (Board & staff). Thank you for approving this painting. For supporting me as an artist and for supporting so many women in your Home.
Hi friends! Welcome to the blog! I'm Mandy and I'm an artist, blogger & founder of the "Artists to Know" interview series. Here you'll find photos of my latest art adventures, furniture makeover projects & advice from successful artists!
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