Detail from a shirt painted with markers by Betty Z.

Northeastern to host Alzheimer’s art exhibition

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Northeastern Illinois University Department of Psychology and the Gerontology program will host “Mainly Markers” from Sept. 7-21 in the Ronald Williams Library Gallery.

“Mainly Markers” showcases the artwork of the late Betty Z., who lived with Alzheimer’s disease before her death earlier this year. The exhibit is curated by Betty’s daughter and Northeastern alumna Val McCune and is meant to raise awareness that September is World Alzheimer’s Month.

“My mother was struggling with Alzheimer’s disease when I noticed that her room became a menagerie of unexpected vividly colored surfaces, from clothes to shoes to furniture. Everything was colored by using nail polish, glue and makeup, but mainly markers,” McCune said. “At first, it was disturbing to see that nothing was off limits to this perpetual and obsessive habit of coloring. Eventually, though, I embraced it. I am also an artist, so why wouldn’t I encourage her artistic urgency to create?”

An opening reception will be held Sept. 13 at 6:30 p.m.

Betty Z.