Painting in Twilight: Mending a Shattered Memory of Art & Alzheimer's

Cognitive Dynamics founder, Dr. Daniel C. Potts, MD showcases his father’s work, a story of Art and Alzheimer’s, at David W. Streets Galley in Beverly Hills, California.

Los Angeles, CA, September 09, 2011 --( In an attempt to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s disease, Cognitive Dynamics founder, Dr. Daniel C. Potts, showcased his father’s paintings at David W. Streets Gallery in Beverly Hills, CA. Dr. Potts’ father, Lester Potts, was a saw miller from rural Alabama who discovered his artistic talent and found acclaim as an artist only after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

Like many deteriorating from Alzheimer’s, Lester had shut down. He was unable to speak and becoming isolated. Caring Days, an adult day center for people with dementia in Tuscaloosa, AL gave Lester a second chance. At the center, Lester was introduced to painting in an art therapy program. Through the medium, he rediscovered his voice and found a way to tell his story. Amazingly, despite the difficulties of the disease, and lacking any formal training, Lester’s work revealed the nuance and technique typical of an artist classically trained.

“When you look at Lester’s work, there is an uncanny, intuitive understanding of color, shading, composition and form. It is amazing any time we see this kind of work from someone without training, especially from someone suffering from Alzheimer’s, yet, this is what art therapy is about,” said Angel C. Duncan, a Medical Art Therapist and the Executive Director of Cognitive Connections, a branch of Cognitive Dynamics focused on bringing others the kind of arts therapies Lester benefitted from.

“The brain is a mystery. It is such a complex machine that science is only just beginning to understand. To see Lester’s art and recognize that someone suffering from Alzheimer’s created it, someone who’d otherwise lost the tools to communicate, is a testament to how effective and important art therapy is for the millions of others facing the same diagnosis. Clearly, art has a way of exhibiting pieces of the soul that don’t appear in a science lab. Work like Lester’s, and others like him, is a prescient reminder that science needs art,” she adds.

Cognitive Dynamics Advisory Board Member, Dr. Meril Platzer, MD, coordinated and sponsored the art exhibit. The exhibit is being held at David W. Streets Gallery in Beverley Hills, CA through the end of October.

A star studded private opening included: philanthropist and Spago restaurant owner Barbara Lazaroff, Good Morning America anchor Lara Spencer, Los Angeles City Council member Jan Perry, the Jerry Mathers family, author Diane Lander-Simon, Fauna Hodel of Celebrity Society Magazine, Beverly Hills celebrity photographer Maxine Picard, as well as celebrity host David W. Streets. The gallery is open for viewing and some of Lester’s paintings will be available for purchase. Oscar winning filmmakers, Electro-fish Media founders Chris and Cile Elley documented this exhibit, a short film called, “Painting in Twilight.” Their video can be seen on Youtube at

More than 5 million Americans are estimated to have Alzheimer’s disease. Many of those suffering from the disease have lost part of their ability to remember or their means of verbally communicating their needs and experiences. As Lester’s work demonstrates, art can provide an alternate way to engage and tap into the neural pathways. Art therapy is proving it can, and should, be an intricate part of non-invasive treatment in conjunction with medications to preserve quality and dignity of life. Cognitive Dynamics through its Cognitive Connections training program is working hard to help train medical professionals and caregivers so they are able to apply these innovative expressive arts therapy techniques. The groundbreaking Cognitive Connections program was developed by nationally-known experts in the expressive arts industry.

About Cognitive Dynamics
Cognitive Dynamics, Inc. was founded in 2010 by American Academy of Neurology-recognized advocate, Dr. Daniel C. Potts, MD as a way to advance research and improve the quality of life for dementia patients and caregivers through innovative approaches incorporating the expressive arts. Cognitive Dynamic’s mission is to improve the quality of life of patients with cognitive disorders (such as Alzheimer’s disease) through education, research, and support of innovative care models. The foundation aims to promote human dignity, especially through therapies employing Expressive Arts Therapy.

Angel Duncan
Executive Director, Cognitive Connections

Cognitive Dynamics, Inc.
Angel Duncan