Local artist Tori Tinsley’s paintings from the Mom’s Laugh Project will be displayed at Atria Buckhead, a local assisted and independent living community on Thursday, September 9 at 6 p.m. Atria Buckhead is where Tinsley’s mother, 60, lives.
To say that each painting has personal meaning to the artist and her family is an understatement. Tinsley’s mother suffers from fronto-temporal dementia (FTD), a devastating disease that essentially steals the memories and personality from those affected.
To help preserve her mother’s memories and raise awareness about FTD, Tinsley created the now one-year-old Mom’s Laugh Project dedicated to preserving loss through art. In an effort to safe-keep her mother’s memories and stories from the effects of FTD, she creates acrylic paintings depicting images from her mother’s life and passions. Each painting is titled with a date, and if the painting is not sold when that date arrives, the artwork is “destroyed” to a hazy version of its original state to represent the destruction progressive dementia has on both individuals and families affected by the disease.
“Showing my paintings at Atria Buckhead is going to be an extremely special exhibition for me,” Tinsley said. “I use each piece I create to try to connect my mother with her memory of the experience, and painting these memories is my way of dealing with the grief I feel from watching her struggle with this cruel disease. But this project is about more than a personal outlet for my expression; it’s about educating people about the effects of this disease that typically strikes people at an earlier age than Alzheimer’s disease.”
Tinsley has created over 23 pieces to honor her mother’s memories, 13 of which are preserved. Her paintings sell from $150 to $400 each with 20% of all sales benefiting the Association for Frontotemporal Dementias (AFTD), an organization that provides information, compassion and hope through research and advocacy for those whose lives are touched by fronto-temporal dementia. To date, patrons have donated over $900 to the AFTD through the Mom’s Laugh Project.
Association for Frontotemporal Dementias Program Director Sharon Denny says the Mom’s Laugh Project is good for not only Tinsley and her mother, but the community as a whole.
“This is a wonderful example of how families touched by FTD are moved to help others despite enormous personal loss,” said Denny. “Tori’s creative efforts are increasing awareness of this group of brain disorders that are often misdiagnosed and poorly understood. Better awareness is the key to everything from getting information to people who are affected to funding the research needed to find a cure. The proceeds from this project help AFTD advance our entire mission.”
The exhibition at Atria Buckhead, a senior living community that offers independent living, assisted living and memory care options, will be held on Thursday, September 9 at 6 pm. Tinsley will actually destroy a painting at the exhibition unless it is “preserved,” or purchased on or before September 9. The event is free and open to the public. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served.
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