The Alzheimer’s Glass and Iron project was founded in February, 2013 by Rosemarie Oakman while she was an undergraduate at Alfred University. The project received support from the New York State College of Ceramics, The Gerontology Department, The National Casting Center, Drawn to Diversity, the Community Arts Program as well as the Judson Leadership Center. While at Alfred over 150 students were involved in the project, with 35 of them becoming trained facilitators in the "Memories in the Making" watercolor painting program via the Alzheimer’s Association.
After graduating Rosemarie Oakman and her collegues Elise Betrus, Haley Jelinek, Michelle Kwiecien and Rebbeca Flis held a panel discussion and led a community based performace about Alzheimer’s at the International Conference on Cast Iron Arts held at Pedvale Sculpture Park in Pedvale, Latvia.
In Summer, 2014 Alzheimer’s Glass and Iron founder and director Rosemarie Oakman was awarded a three month long fellowship at Salem Art Works. Glass directors Haley Jelinek and Elise Betrus lived and worked at Salem Art Works at the same time as Independent Artists. The experience was life changing and made a huge impact on the project. During the three months, over two dozen "Art with the Elderly" workshops were held. In addition, there was an Alzheimer’s Awareness Brunch, three iron pours, multiples demonstrations and days working in the glass hot shop, a series of three children’s "Memory workshops" and a gallery show that ran for a month. Over 25 iron sculptures were produced during the residency along with a half dozen glass sculptures.
In Summer, 2015 more than a dozen artists will work on the Alzheimer’s Glass and Iron project over a two week period at Salem Art Works. This will take place from June 21st until July 5th.
The funding from this Kickstarter camping will make it possible to have art supplies for several dozen "Art with the Elderly" workshops. During these watercolor painting and sculpture workshops memories are discussed and the elderly are encouraged to engage in imaginative and cognitively stimulating dialogue. Each certified Alzheimer’s Glass and Iron artist works in small groups of two or three individuals so each workshop assistant gets the optimal amount of one on one attention and guidance.
Materials for each artists to create a unique sculpture based off a painting created by an elderly community member will be provided through Kickstarter funding. In addition, the materials will allow the group to work together to cast in iron over 80 sculptures designed by the elderly. These sculptures will be returned to nursing homes and the families of the elderly artists. It is our goal to put over 100 sculptures into nursing homes in 2015.
Funding will also help house ten Alzheimer’s Glass and Iron artists at Salem Art Works where they will be leading children’s workshops about memory and Alzheimer’s. Finally, funding will go towards hosting a series Alzheimer’s Awareness brunches in different communities.
The funding will support countless people affected by Alzheimer ’s disease while enriching their lives through the arts. Please support us in our effort to raise Alzheimer’s Awareness.
Risks and challenges
In the event of unforeseen production delays, Rosemarie Oakman (project founder and director) will commit to fulfilling the goal of "100 sculptures in nursing homes in 2015" by creating molds and pouring sculptures at alternate times and venues.
Other Iron Pour Dates at Salem Art Works, 2015:
Alzheimer's Awareness Brunches as well as children's activities will be rescheduled if circumstances arise causing schedule changes.
- (44 days)