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Arts & Culture

Brinton Museum's New Exhibit Explores The Topic Of Dementia


The Brinton Museum will display a new exhibit featuring the work of an artist as she explores the story of her mother's decline into dementia.

The exhibit is called "Ergo Sum: A Crow a Day," and artist Karen Bondarchuk brings together 365 pieces representing each day of a year as her mother loses her ability to keep track of days.

Ken Schuster, the Brinton's chief curator and director, said the images leave a lot up to the viewer's interpretation.

"The whole crux of the exhibition is tracking a year of time because her mother could no longer do that. So that's why she produces 365 of these. And also, the fact that her mother has basically lost the function of thinking and lost the function of tracking time and even being able to speak," he said.

The exhibit also underscores the Brinton's partnership with Dementia Friendly Wyoming, a Sheridan-based dementia support community, to develop programs for people who have dementia.

The Brinton staff went through training in February to become a dementia-friendly museum, which means the staff is trained to interact in a particular way with visitors who have dementia, said Barbara McNab, curator of exhibitions and education.

For example, McNab said, "You have to be careful about not introducing things that are deeply complex and analytical because that could be perceived as frustrating for someone."

They were also trained not to present too much information at once and refrain from asking "why" questions.

The museum will host a gallery talk with Bondarchuk on May 2. The exhibit opens on April 27 and runs through June 10.

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