NEW YORK (PIX11) — A Brooklyn artist is using his own experience with his grandmother to help others going through the challenges of having loved ones living with dementia.
It can be an incredibly painful time having a loved one battling dementia. Modesto Flako Jimenez hopes sharing his own story in a new art exhibit will help others in his community.
The new exhibition at the Abrons Arts Center in Manhattan’s Lower East Side is a collection of photos, diary entries and records of his beloved grandmother, Mercedes Orga Jimenez.
In 2017, Jimenez became the caregiver to his grandmother after she was diagnosed with dementia. Jimenez’s grandmother passed away in 2021. He now wants to share her story with the world through art.
The exhibit includes personal possessions of hers such as her marriage license, diary entries and even her nightstand with her jewelry still on it. In the background plays her favorite music.
Jimenez says he unearthed her amazing life story and hopes others will relate. His grandmother, from the Dominican Republic, was a community champion who helped dozens of immigrants stay in her home and achieve the American Dream. People looking at the intimate art collection that’s now open to the public have been deeply moved.
Ali Rosa-Salas is the artistic director of the Abrons Arts Center and says it’s not just an art exhibit but an interactive experience as well. Next door to the exhibit is a healing room, offering free workshops to help caregivers and their families with the challenges of dementia. Instead of trauma and depression, Jimenez hopes people will experience hope and healing.
This art exhibition is being shown until Nov. 19.