Cassia in the News

Art Show at Adler Graduate School Looks Beyond Our Perceptions of Dementia

How does dementia affect the way we create? A collaboration between Adler Graduate School and Augustana Open Circle shows creativity is not affected—and stereotypical ideas about dementia are outdated. The I am Here art show opened Thursday, August 10, 2017 to honor the art of Augustana Open Circle participants in partnership with the Adler Graduate School’s Art Therapy Department. The show, at Adler Graduate School, 1550 East 78th Street in Richfield, celebrates the voices of older adults with chronic conditions such as dementia. Learn more from a recent article in the Hopkins Sun Sailor.

Participants’ art will be displayed throughout the month of August. The theme I Am Here was chosen to remind us that people with dementia or similar conditions remain vigorous participants in our world and society. “We are all creative throughout our life span,” says Augustana Open Circle Manager Patty Crawford. “Augustana Open Circle’s goal is to offer individuals with dementia or other challenges opportunities for self expression.

“The artistic process affirms each individual’s unique point of view, while building connections with others,” Crawford adds.” Life with dementia can seem fragmented and art provides a time of focus. The viewing of this exhibit is a chance to listen with our eyes and gain deeper understanding of human aging.”

There are five components to the show that include the following:

  • Identity- To highlight elements of personality and life events that support identity
  • Portraits—to share a variety of human faces that reflect the way we see others and ourselves
  • Landscapes—showing perceptions of our surroundings and the landscape of memory
  • Travel—reflecting on  places visited or imagined and the sensation of travel
  • Hands—sharing perceptions of one of the body’s most important features and means of connection

 To learn more, please contact Augustana Open Circle Program Director Mark Rosen at or 952-935-8143.