Drawing for Dementia is a club where students create art pieces for individuals with dementia to bring them happiness and help them recall favorite memories.
The artwork is typically done outside of the classroom in the students’ free time, but in the future, Drawing for Dementia will be doing art days with pizza in the art room (6-103) during lunch. This time will be used to start new drawings, answer questions and have fun while working on their passion.
“I joined this club because I saw it as a great way for my creativity to benefit others,” junior Fina Bleu said. “I love how the artists are given freedom to design what they choose.”
After the students are finished with their art pieces, they are able to deliver them to the individual and are rewarded with seeing their reactions.
“I was given the opportunity to meet the lady I drew the elephant for,” Bleu said. “It was the most amazing opportunity because I got to witness how my drawing helped her remember things she had forgotten.”
While the club can be great for aspiring artists, it can also be a time spent hanging out with friends and doing something fun. Art may not be a strong suit for some students, but this club can help them improve on this creative activity. These art pieces can take hours, and those hours are added up to become volunteer hours, counting towards the Bright Futures scholarship.
“I decided to join this club because I had friends who were already a part of it and they encouraged me to join,” sophomore Charlotte Mather said.
Many students may have family members or relatives who have dementia. There is not a specific treatment to reverse this disorder, but a drawing can help them think of the positives rather than suffering with the challenges.
Drawing for Dementia was founded by junior Gabi Boyd and sponsored by drawing and painting teacher Chelon Perez-Bonitoa. Boyd’s experience with Alzheimer’s in her family inspired her to begin the club, allowing her personal background to spark positive change.
“I started this club because of my two grandmothers,” Boyd said. “They have both had Alzheimer’s since I was little. Growing up, I loved to create art, and they loved receiving it. Even when my Nana can’t remember who I am, she can look at my art, and it can be a bonding moment for us.”
No matter the piece of art, students can make a positive impact in someone’s life with one small drawing.
“Students should join this club because they can use their talents to make a difference in others’ lives,” Boyd said. “It is a special feeling knowing that your work is hanging in someone else’s room and is smiled at every day!”