In the Valley of the Shadow: Depicting Dementia; Paintings reflecting a journey through Alzheimer's Disease by Anita Lehman
November 7 – December 9, 2018
Anita Lehman created a series of paintings beginning in late 2014 as a way to reflect on and respond to her brother-in-law’s experience with early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Mike (brother-in law), his family and their friends, were several years into this journey when Lehman began these paintings.
“I’ve had a number of years now to think about the disease and its impact on our extended family. When we first became aware of his diagnosis, it seemed frivolous to paint anything other than dark, despairing images. As I worked, and as time passed, I framed questions to help me explore and create something beyond darkness,” says Lehman.
The original 12 paintings from “In the Valley of the Shadow” include images of fractured instruments and fragments of hymns. The theme of these images reflect the passion for music within the family. Later paintings in the series were in response to expressionistic line drawings done by Mike during his experience with the disease. Lehman was fascinated with the tight lines and shapes—nothing representational. With permission to she has used these drawings as reference points for continuing work in this series.
Lehman’s paintings have generated conversation with others. “I have become aware that the experience of having a loved one with this Alzheimer's is both individual and universal. I am grateful for the ways my visual exploration connects me to others on this journey.”
This display is funded in part through a grant from the YW Legacy Fund at the Greater Salina Community Foundation.
First Friday Closing Reception with Anita Lehman December 7, 2018, 5-7 p.m.