Fading Memories Made Into Eternal Artworks
Alzheimer’s Iron is a multi-step, cross-generational art project that will benefit the Alzheimer’s Association. The project is made up of three steps: production of artwork by elderly community members, interpretation of these works and rendered sculptures by iron castors, and an auction featuring the artworks.
The first step of the project involves the Golden Years Club (a community service based gerontology club) facilitating the making of artwork in nursing homes and assisted living communities in Allegany and Steuben Counties. Each two hour session allows residents one on one interaction with our trained club members. Elderly artists create paintings from red and black iron oxide and gesso. “The human brain supports-perhaps thrives on-creative activity and certain types of creative challenges- ones that may foster repair and growth of brain structures and their attendants behaviors.”[i]
A handful of elders that participate in the painting session will also get an alginate (a mold making material that captures extraordinarily small detail) mold taken of their hands. The hands will be cast in Iron and duplicated, one will be given as a memento to the elders’ families and others sold for fundraising purposes.
The paintings are given to students at The National Casting Center Foundry at Alfred University to create sculptures in response or homage to the elder’s artwork. The artist involved is provided with information about Alzheimer’s disease and it’s affects on the elderly individual and their families.
After the students has sculpted their art out of wax or non drying clay, they rally together to perform a cupola iron pour (an ancient art form which melts iron in a furnace). The community and families of the elderly involved in the Alzheimer’s Iron project are encouraged to come watch the pour and meet all of the wonderful cast iron artists involved.
All paintings and sculptures will be shown and auctioned off. All proceeds will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association.