Memories in the Making Art Auction - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Memories in the Making Art Auction

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Remarkable art was on the auction block Friday night to raise money to help fight Alzheimer's disease.

All of the paintings on display and up for sale at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport at the Memories in the Making Auction event are expressions through art, done by local men and women with varying stages of Alzheimer's disease - some of whom have lost the ability to express themselves through words as their dementia progresses.

"It's just the brain is being blocked from communicating with itself," said Bill Horrell, Development & Communications Coordinator for the Alzheimer's Association of Greater Iowa.

But, often, people with Alzheimer's are able to communicate their thoughts and emotions - and even their life experiences - through painting.

Local Memories in the Making art workshops give people with Alzheimer's and other related dementias the opportunity to do that, allowing the artists to have who they truly are shine through the fog of their disease.

"Sometimes they don't remember doing the painting after they've done it, but in the moment, it brings back memories," Horrell said.

On Friday night, 15 professionally framed, original watercolors were auctioned off. They were selected from Memories in the Making programs at eleven different memory care facilities in the QCA. Many more watercolor paintings from those programs was available for sale, some unframed, others printed as note cards.

"Hoping that they enjoy the artwork as much as they enjoyed doing it," Horrell said.

"It helps calm you down, calms your nerves, because you're relaxed while you're doing it," said Mary Nesseler, one of the artists who had a painting selected to be sold in the live auction.

The atmosphere at that auction was all about the excitement.

KWQC's own Chief Meteorologist Erik Maitland was the auctioneer, driving up the bids to raise as much money as possible for the Alzheimer's Association to support its programs and research into Alzheimer's treatments, and ultimately, a cure.

"My coworker and I say it's our ultimate goal to be out of a job because they found a cure for this terrible disease," Horrell said.

And, for the family and friends of the artists supporting the cause, the true power is in the lasting memories from and with their loved ones through their art:

"We made sure to buy all of them, and we're going to make copies for Christmas," said Brenda Bentley, an attendee at Friday night's event, about her mother's pink flamingo painting that was printed on note cards.

"She's never been a person that has been an artist. And so to see these, we've just been amazed at what they can do," Bentley added.

"My mother-in-law has been a part of a memory care unit for over a year and a half and she's producing things that I never dreamed she could do," agreed another attendee at Friday's event, Bonnie Moeller.

Between the live auction, art sales, ticket sales, and silent auction proceeds, organizers were hoping to raise 25 to 30 thousand dollars for the Alzheimer's Association at this year's Memories in the Making art auction event.

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