Back to top

The Philadelphia Foundation Hosts Inspiring Exhibition of Art Created by Individuals Living with Dementia

Monday, September 10, 2018

Press release via The Philadelphia Foundation

PHILADELPHIA, PA (9/10/2018) – The Philadelphia Foundation today announced the organization will showcase a vibrant new art exhibit in its offices as part of a partnership with ARTZ Philadelphia.  The new exhibit named “It Feels Like Freedom” -- When Creativity Transcends A Diagnosis will be on display from Mon., Sept. 17, 2018 through Fri., Jan. 25, 2019 at the Community Art Gallery of The Philadelphia Foundation, located at 1835 Market St., Suite 2410.

The exhibition features works created by participants in ARTZ Philadelphia’s programs that are held in long-term care communities or during events at ARTZ Philadelphia’s partner museums, care communities and memory centers.

The artists are individuals living with memory loss, dementia and chronic illness. The collaborative works were created by program participants with dementia and their care partners or community volunteers. The two dozen works on display include watercolors, acrylics, and mixed media works on paper by individual artists, along with collaborative nine-foot painted banners and large weavings. The banners and weavings will be offered for sale.

About the Exhibition Title: “It Feels like Freedom”

The exhibition draws its title from a comment made by a participant, Sylvia M., in a bi-weekly program facilitated by ARTZ Philadelphia at York Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in West Oak Lane. “It feels like freedom: I can do whatever I want,” says Sylvia M., who is living with dementia. Through the program she has rediscovered what it feels like to be inspired, to be freed -- for a time -- from the everyday bonds of illness and provided with the liberty to make her own choices, a rare commodity for someone living with a chronic illness such as dementia.

Sylvia went to beauty school when she was young, became “an expert in making people beautiful” and finds that self-expression through art gives her the ability to make connections that might not otherwise take place, so she can “make conversations” with those who view what she has created.

The artists in the exhibit, like Sylvia, look forward to the conversations and connections that “It Feels Like Freedom” inspires.

Groups wishing to tour the gallery are asked to make arrangements two weeks in advance of their visit and individuals wishing to visit are asked to make arrangements 24 hours in advance. Contact Maggi Kirk, Development and Donor Services Officer, at 215-863-8105,

About ARTZ Philadelphia
ARTZ Philadelphia was founded on the belief that people living with dementia should be accorded the benefits of well-being and quality of life that others enjoy. It is committed to supporting and celebrating people with dementia and their care partners as valued members of the wider creative community. ARTZ Philadelphia offers opportunities for interactions around arts and culture through programs designed to offer experiences that are fulfilling and meaningful, regardless of diagnosis or phase of illness. People with dementia and their care partners find each other again in the moment, and rediscover the joys of community through new friendships forged in understanding and empathy.

About The Community Art Gallery

“It Feels Like Freedom” -- When Creativity Transcends A Diagnosis is the 55th exhibition to be held in the Community Art Gallery, which was established in 2000 as a showcase for nonprofits using art programs to connect with the community and as shared space where arts organizations, artists and patrons can gather to build greater support for the arts. The Gallery also highlights The Philadelphia Foundation’s Arts & Culture Fund, a permanent endowment that supports local arts organizations’ efforts to build community through the arts.

About The Philadelphia Foundation
Founded in 1918, The Philadelphia Foundation (TPF) strengthens the economic, social and civic vitality of Greater Philadelphia. TPF grows effective philanthropic investment, connects individuals and institutions across sectors and geography, and advances civic initiatives through partnerships and collaboration. A publicly supported foundation, TPF manages more than 900 charitable funds established by its donors and makes over 1,000 grants and scholarship awards each year. To learn more, visit

Find More By
Related Organizations 
News type