Cognitive Dynamics partners with the University of Alabama to enrich the lives of Alzheimer’s patients through the Art to Life Initiative

Cognitive Dynamics Foundation, through its program “Bringing Art to Life,” is partnering with the University of Alabama Honors College for “Art to Life, “an Honors course which enriches the lives of persons with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers.  Currently in its second semester, the program brings art therapy to persons with Alzheimer’s disease still living at home, and uses this therapy to document and preserve the life stories of these individuals for posterity and for the validation and enjoyment of the participants.  The initiative was piloted in Perry County, Alabama in the Spring of 2011 with the additional partnership of VSA Arts of Alabama and Sowing Seeds of Hope Foundation.  A celebration for the participants and their families was held this past May at Judson College in Marion, Alabama.

Art to Life participants and families enjoy the final reception at Marion, Alabama's Judson College, May, 2011

Currently 15 Honors students are enrolled in the course, and five particpants with early to moderate Alzheimer’s disease have been chosen from the Tuscaloosa area.  The art therapy, facilitated by registered art therapist Karen Gibbons, MA, MFT, ATR, will take place at the First Presbyterian Church of Tuscaloosa beginning on September 23.  A Neuropsychiatric Inventory, administered before and after the completion of the therapy, will document potential benefits of the intervention upon participant behavior and well-being and caregiver emotional burden. 

The Art to Life Initiative will be featured in the Fall issue of the University of Alabama’s Alumni Magazine, and was also discussed in the University of South Alabama College of Medicine’s Alumni Magazine, Spring 2011 Edition

In addition, it was highlighted in Alabama Public Television’s “For the Record: Dementia,” which may be viewed on the APT website at

According to Cognitive Dynamics President and Founder, neurologist Daniel C. Potts, M.D., “Bringing Art to Life” was inspired by the life story of his own father, Lester E. Potts, Jr..  The elder Potts, a rural Alabama saw miller who became an internationally-known watercolor artist after the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, blossomed while participating in an art therapy program at Caring Days, a dementia daycare center in Tuscaloosa.  “It gave him a sense of pride in his new-found accomplishments and validated him as a human being in his ‘now’,” Potts says.  Cognitive Dynamics seeks to create similar experiences for others.  Plans are underway to offer the initiative to other institutions who are interested.

For more information about Cognitive Dynamics and its programs, or to offer financial support to its mission, visit