Painting Memories

The Alzheimer’s Association® Oklahoma Chapter and Philbrook are celebrating The Longest Day® with an art event for the second year in a row. The Longest Day is a team event to raise funds and awareness for the Alzheimer’s Association.  Held annually on (or near) summer solstice, the all-day event symbolizes the challenging journey of those living with the disease and their caregivers.

Last year, caregivers, family members and those with Alzheimer’s submitted personal stories about their journey with the disease and the effect it has had on them directly. Those stories were given to local artists, who created an art piece; interpreting the story they had been given.

This year, on Sunday, June 19, a new group of artists will be given new stories and will create art from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. On this special day, which is also Father’s day, people visiting Philbrook for the event will have free admission, however they will be charged general admission if they would like to walk around the galleries and gardens. Throughout the day, there will be several special performances in the theater followed by and Alzheimer’s Association staff person speaking on Healthy Living for Your Brain & Body and 10 Ways to Love Your Brain.

On The Longest Day, teams select an activity they love – or honor a caregiver, or someone living with or lost to the disease, by selecting his or her favorite hobby. It could be bowling, hiking, cooking, crafting – teams are only limited by their imagination.

A small glimpse of Tom’s Story
Tom writes of the delicious smell of fresh popped popcorn, butter and brown sugar that would waft from his mom’s kitchen during the holidays when he was a child. A cherished memory until the recipe was lost. Many years later, the recipe was found again, bitter sweet, because it was also the year his mother was diagnosed with the early stages of dementia.

The Artist’s perspective
Artist Aaron Rayner explained the color red, which is present in the void, personifies the memory and thoughts of the family. This color is directly linked and careens towards the center of the painting, where the popcorn is brought into focus – symbolizing the moments of clarity that allowed the recipe to be remembered and passed on to the surviving family members.

This painting is currently on display in the lobby of Premier Popcorn at 32nd and Harvard.