Interstice: Memory, Mind and Alzheimer’s Disease

June 4, 2015

Curated, multimedia art exhibit highlights life with Alzheimer’s, opens on July 16

IntersticeLifespan and the Rhode Island chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association are collaborating with the local art world to create a curated exhibition. The exhibit will lead people through the process of understanding what it feels like to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease – the fear, uncertainty and unfamiliarity with neuroscience, the clinical environment and medical vernacular.

This first-of-its-kind exhibit opens on July 16, 2015, with a special reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Cohen Gallery in the Granoff Center for the Creative Arts at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

According to Peter J. Snyder, PhD, Lifespan’s chief research officer and senior vice president, focusing on Alzheimer’s disease in this format is a new way to bring perspective and understanding to a disease that affects one in nine people over 65 years old in the U.S.

“Who this disease affects goes way beyond just those diagnosed; it also greatly impacts family members, care givers and care providers. We expect the numbers to rise dramatically over the next 20 years, as the baby boomers age. Now, more than ever, there needs to be an increased effort to raise public awareness of Alzheimer’s,” said Snyder, who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of this disease. “This curated experience – Interstice: Memory, Mind and Alzheimer’s Disease – uses mixed media to guide viewers through an emotional process that is marked by isolation and uncertainty, but also by altruistic acts, hope, progress and love.”

“Our goal is to create an event that engages an audience with the experience of Alzheimer’s disease that would otherwise not be exposed to this information,” he added.

“This is an opportunity where two roads converge – that of science and art. We are proud to support this first-of-its-kind exhibit to open the door for more people to experience what our loved ones face with cognitive decline. Alzheimer’s is an irreversible neurological disease that impairs cognition, orientation, functional capacity, and it is the only cause of death among the top 10 life-threatening conditions in the United States that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed. The awareness that Memory, Mind, and Alzheimer’s disease brings to this public health crisis is unsurpassed. We encourage you to take part in this exhibit,” said Alzheimer’s Association Rhode Island Chapter Executive Director Donna McGowan.

The exhibition will feature all Rhode Island-based artists, who will create works in pen and ink, metal, enamel, wood, photography, sound and film to tell the story of Alzheimer’s. The artists are using a number of raw materials, such as images, recorded voices, retinal scans and brain scans of nearly 60 Rhode Island residents who are all caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s, and who are all concerned about succumbing to the disease themselves.

Artists include:

  • Babette Allina – multi-media artist, curator and responsible for all community engagement and governmental affairs for the Rhode Island School of Design.
  • Cybele Collins – Rhode Island School of Design graduate, local artist and graduate student in molecular biology.
  • Will Reeves – Rhode Island School of Design graduate, metal shop technician for the school’s industrial design department, local artist, designer, educator and co-founder of The Wurks in Providence.
  • Dianne Reilly – associate professor of art at Rhode Island College, head of the jewelry metals area at the college, local artist and designer.
  • Peter J. Snyder, PhD – Lifespan chief research officer and senior vice president, professor of neurology, Alpert Medical School of Brown University and scholar-in-residence, Rhode Island School of Design; woodturner, sculptor and specialist in diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s.

The exhibit runs from July 16 through September 9, 2015. Sponsors include Lifespan health system; Creative Arts Council, Brown University; Norman Prince Neurosciences Institute, Rhode Island Hospital; Brown Institute for Brain Sciences; The Department of Cognitive, Linguistic & Psychological Sciences of Brown University; The University Neurology Foundation and Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.

About the Alzheimer’s Association
The Alzheimer’s Association is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research, to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.

About the Alzheimer’s Association Rhode Island Chapter
The Rhode Island Chapter, an affiliate of the National Alzheimer’s Association, is a private, non-profit organization started in 1989 by family caregivers and interested community healthcare professionals. The Chapter programs and services include a 24/7 Helpline, Support Groups, Training for Families, Early Stage Engagement Program for Early Memory Loss, Newsletters, Advocacy, Resource Library, Conferences, Lectures, and special fundraising events. Offices are located at 245 Waterman Street, Suite 306, Providence, RI 02906. Phone: 800-272-3900, Fax: 401-421-0115, Website: