Exhibit at “The Blue” August 1 – September 30
Milwaukee, WI – More than 50 guerilla knitters from across metro Milwaukee have spent nearly seven months knitting and crocheting a unique display of urban art that will be on exhibit at the Rait Reuss Plaza, also known as “The Blue”, during the months of August and September. The catalyst for the colorful pop-up street art project is to bring greater awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and the power that art has to enrich the lives of those living with the disease. The community will also be invited to see an equally provocative gallery presentation inside “The Blue”, filled with over 60 pieces of watercolor art created by individuals with dementia who participate in the Alzheimer’s Association Memories in the Making® program.
“When I arranged for the Memories in the Making art to be displayed in the first floor art gallery at “The Blue”, I quickly realized that I needed to find a clever way to draw people inside the building to view the art”, said Nancy Armitage, coordinator of the Memories in the Making program. “Visual arts are so effective in not only capturing people’s attention, but also imparting a message. Yarn Graffiti is certainly a medium that makes a big, bold statement.”
Armitage spent months recruiting individuals, businesses and organizations to participate in the street art project, which will be officially installed on the Plaza at “The Blue” on Sunday, July 31. Over 30 separate projects will be installed. Every project was required to use some purple yarn in their design, as purple is the official color of the Alzheimer’s Association and the Alzheimer’s movement worldwide. Many of the projects will feature tassels made by individuals living in a memory care community. All individuals involved donated 100% of their time and materials to the project.
Yarn graffiti, also known as yarn storming, started initially as a way to reclaim and personalize public spaces. It has since evolved to encompass a worldwide movement of graffiti knitters, each with their own vision and mission. While each project is unique, yarn graffiti is very often used to decorate trees, light poles, parking meters, waste receptacles, planters, benches and pay phones.
As coordinator of the Memories in the Making program, Armitage works with 35 care facilities around Southeastern Wisconsin to bring the power of art to those living with Alzheimer’s and related dementias. Memories in the Making artists create imaginative and colorful watercolor paintings. Most of those artists have no prior art experience. The painting process provides an opportunity to engage socially and reminisce about meaningful life moments, individuals, or personal interests.
The Yarn Graffiti project and the Memories in the Making exhibit will be on display during the months of August and September at “The Blue”, 310 West Wisconsin Avenue, in downtown Milwaukee. The Alzheimer’s Association would like to thank its partners at “The Blue” and Urban Retail Properties for making both these exhibits possible.
More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, including 110,000 in Wisconsin. This number is estimated to grow to as many as 16 million by year 2050. Alzheimer’s is the nation’s sixth leading cause of death. Additionally, there are more than 15 million caregivers, according to the
Alzheimer’s Association 2016 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report. Worldwide, there are an estimated 47 million people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
About the Alzheimer’s Association®
The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Its mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Its vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. Visit alz.org or call 800.272.3900.