MY ART STORY by

Lynette Schweigert

Reno
Nevada

lynette-schweigert-chicks.jpg

Four soft pink chicks standing in a little group against a soft green backgroun

Blushing Chicks by Edith H., women's cosmetics. Photo by Lynette Schweigert

Moments of Memory, a Northern Nevada non-profit, was created in 2008 by five women working in the memory care field. We saw a need for creative art experiences for residents living in memory care communities. We wanted to offer social events on a weekly basis bringing back a sense of community involvement and purpose to combat the feelings of isolation and depression.

I developed techniques to provide a safe and supportive environment for social interaction and self-expression resulting in a non-critical, fail-safe experience. Mediums such as women's cosmetics were quickly adapted by residents due to the familiarity of the products such as blush and lipstick. Use of cosmetics by men for their art projects is always a source of comic relief. Artists also create a library of painted paper to use as backgrounds and for cut or torn collages. Beginning a project with painted paper avoids anxiety and frustration for the artists. Recently we began offering black paper and found the artists never hesitate beginning their creative process when working with soft pastels.

The art by our artists with Alzheimer's and related dementias is put on display every July during Reno's annual month long Artown celebration of local art. Not only is the art unique and inspiring for all residents, whether they have any previous art experience or not, it proves to be treasured by their families while creating a legacy of the artist.

Broghtly colored sun face made of paper strips Seascape with blue sky, purple ocean, close up light blue and green shells
Sunface by Bill R., torn painted paper collage. Photo by Lynette Schweigert Soft Pastel Waves by Owen H., cut paper templates and soft pastels. Photo by Lynette Schweigert