Professor at UNO demonstrates the healing potential of art
OMAHA, Nebraska – The dedication of one guy to enhancing our understanding of Alzheimer’s disease. The artist’s father contributed to the project in ways he was unaware of.
Art can sometimes be its own form of therapy.
Everyone contributes their own experiences to art.
Mark Gilbert is the son of two artists who met in art school and raised him in Scotland. Some might argue that his career chose him.
“Each portrait attests to a connection.”
Over the course of more than two decades, he transformed patients into persons we could one day recognize in a gallery. Portraits of Care was his title.
In our lifetimes, we will all be patients and carers.
Compassion initially flowed through his pencil, transforming intimate experiences into social ones. His latest interest at the University of Nebraska-Omaha is dementia-afflicted individuals.
What does it mean to look out for one another?
Mark Gilbert requested permission to get to know them and share his findings with the public.
Here are Brian and Lindsey.
The effects of the sickness on the patient and on his or her caretakers, nurses, and social workers. Uncertainty encircles a world where end-of-life conversations are frequently avoided.
As this artist and current UNO professor worked with his subjects, his mother suffered a stroke due to Alzheimer’s and was given only days to live.
“He began by sketching her hands.”
His father sat at her bedside in vigil.
He stated that sketching allowed him to forget what was happening.
The act of drawing out of necessity.
He was able to describe his perceptions and emotions.
Mark Gilbert recognized that they, too, told a tale.
These drawings have taught me more than anything else I’ve done about the healing power of art. And as a son, I was able to visualize what transpired throughout that week. And for that I am quite thankful.”
That is the power of the display; what he sees may differ from what another person sees.
“For the first time, his art and mine overlapped.”
There is one certainty.
Drawings continue to play a role in my recovery journey.
Those who see the lives behind the glass are frequently prompted to consider their own experiences.
This exhibit’s release was delayed because of the pandemic. The majority of participants are Canadian.
Mark Gilbert, who currently teaches art at UNO, intends to exhibit the pictures there shortly.
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