Unveiling a collaborative mural

“The participation of people affected with Alzheimer’s in the creation of this mural has transformed my understanding not only on the power of art over disease but also over life in general,” declared artist John Ryan during the unveiling of the first phase presenting two panels of his provincial mural, which took place today at Centre St-Pierre, in Montreal, as part of the National Alzheimer’s Awareness Campaign.

To execute this artistic project, the Quebec Federation of Alzheimer Societies invited the 20 regional Societies to participate in painting a mural to be produced by noted artist John Ryan. During a regional tour that took place from October 31 to December 5, 2017, Mr. Ryan visited the Societies and, with his support and artistic advice, persons with Alzheimer’s who have a passion for painting collaborated on the mural by painting the canvas representing their own region as part of a stimulation or art therapy activity. The result indicates that the power of the arts can triumph, at least momentarily, over the disease, their suffering or their isolation.

“Art therapy makes it possible to engage the whole person, at the social, emotional, cognitive and psychomotor level, while stimulating the abilities they retain,” explained Pascale Godbout, art therapist at the Alzheimer Society of Montreal.

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Credit : David Lobjoie for the FQSA
From left to right: Artist-painter John Ryan is joined by Pierre Dubois, affected by Alzheimer’s, Société Alzheimer de Lanaudière, Dr. Alain Robillard, neurologist, Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont, Pascale Godbout, art-therapist, Société Alzheimer de Montréal , Lisette Joly, President of the Board and Jean-Francois Lamarche, General Director and CEO, both from the Federation of Quebec Alzheimer Societies (FQAS), to unveil in Montréal on January 10, 2018, the first phase of the provincial mural created with the collaboration of people affected from the 20 Alzheimer Societies throughout Quebec.