A Picture of Dignity Conrad Grebel art exhibit shines a light on dementia


The art exhibit, Painting a Picture of Dignity, seeks to showcase artwork by individuals with dementia.

It is organized by Marlena Books, a publishing company dedicated to producing appropriate reading material “for those with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other cognitive deficits — in order to allow individuals to continue their love of reading while maintaining their dignity.”

Through therapeutic art programs, the art in their books, as well as in the gallery is created by individuals coping with dementia in Kitchener-Waterloo and written by authors in the Waterloo Region.

This free exhibit, displayed in the Great Hall at Conrad Grebel University, will be open until Dec. 15 for all to visit.

According to the World Health Organization, approximately “47 million people have dementia, and there are nearly ten million new cases every year world-wide,” and these numbers are only “set to almost triple by 2050.” That is equal to “one case every three seconds.”

Besides memory loss, symptoms include disorientation in normally familiar environments as well as difficulty with everyday tasks.

It impedes cognitive function but not consciousness. Although Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, other forms include dementia from Parkinson’s disease and vascular dementia, which is when blood flow is obstructed from properly traveling to the brain.

Currently, there are no treatments for dementia, research is underway. Meanwhile, the art exhibit helps to shine a light on the disease.