April 2nd - May 16th

Karen Fisher                                      His Indelible Essence


Against his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s dementia and its grip on personhood, I set the memory of my father holding a bouquet of flowers as if to preserve the indelible essence of who he is and was-a sweet, kind and generous man.

Who doesn’t have some kind of connection to the devastating disease of Alzheimer’s dementia? The gathering dark is all around us. If it’s not you or me, it’s someone we love.

The mixed-media paintings in my solo exhibition, The Darker Sooner, seek to highlight the realities of the disease, bringing you within terrifying proximity to its cruel and slow de-creation of the self and the desolation it brings to those who witness the disintegration and dismantling of the person they care for and love. The paintings in this exhibition represent how someone living with dementia deals with losing their sense of self as the disease begins to eat away at their mind. These works act as catalysts for conversations about the difficult and often lonely journeys for families of those living with the disease. Each piece exposes dementia and its power to devour a person, a caregiver, a family. 


The Darker Sooner by Catherine Wing

Then came the darker sooner, came the later lower.

We were no longer a sweeter-here happily-ever-after. We were after ever.

We were farther and further.

More was the word we used for harder. 

Lost was our standard-bearer.

Our gods were fallen faster, and fallen larger.

The day was duller, duller was disaster. Our charge was error.

Instead of leader we had louder, instead of lover, never. And over this river broke

the winter’s black weather.



Karen Fisher                                      Expectant In a Blue and White Chair                          

This body of work is a powerful statement on the loss of self. Each piece portrays the struggles of individuals living with Alzheimer’s Dementias. The subject is presented to depict the realities of this disease with no attempt to mask the pain of families and loved ones who are forced to witness the deconstruction of each individual struck by this illness. Karen Fisher is able to bring to the viewer the full weight of this subject matter through the use of powerful gazes and vivid imagery throughout her 14 pieces. This exhibition advocates for persons living with Alzheimer’s Dementias and for those who need access to information about the disease, and for the organizations who are out on the front lines fighting each day for its eradication.

                                                                                                  Curator Statement


Click here to see a virtual tour of the Darker Sooner in the gallery.


Unmasking Alzheimer's Dementia

A Panel discussion featuring the artwork of Karen Fisher

Moderated by Peter Benkendorf,  a panel consisting of Scott Gibbs and Jennifer Rospert will converse with Karen Fisher to discuss her interpretations of Alzheimer’s Dementia through the imagery in her paintings. We will consider the paintings as containers for how the disease plays out in the lives of those in the midst of its grip as well as talk about how the work depicts the journey through the stages of the disease with regard to the losses along the way for those who love and care for someone suffering with the disease.

Please join us on May 8th, 7pm on Facebook Premier. The discussion will be pre-recorded and presented on Facebook. 



Jennifer Rospert

Jennifer Rospert earned her MFA-Painting in 2003 from Virginia Commonwealth University, and did Post-Baccalaureate work at the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2000. She earned her BA (Psychology) from The Ohio State University in 1997. Born and raised in northern Ohio, she currently lives in Little Rock, Arkansas, working as an Associate professor at the University of Central Arkansas since 2005. She previously worked as adjunct faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University. Specializing in drawing, Rospert teaches primarily advanced level Drawing and Mixed Media studio courses. The focus of Rospert’s work is primarily in 2D image building, mark-making, and exploratory drawing media. She exhibits nationally and internationally, participating in juried group shows, invitationals, and solo exhibits.


Scott D.U. Gibbs

Scott received his Diploma of Fine Arts in 1984 from the Worcester Art Museum MultipleStudio Program through Clark University in Worcester, MA. Upon graduation Scott moved to New York City where he would remain for the next several years, often working as a studio assistant for several artists, including working for George Condo in both New York and Paris.

Returning to Dayton, Ohio in 1992, he quickly became immersed in the art community. Scott would go on to receive a Montgomery County Arts and Cultural District, Visual Arts/Painting Associate Fellowship Grant in 1997 and a Master Fellowship Grant, 2003. Along with numerous solo and group exhibitions, he has given generously of his time and talent to community benefits.

Although primarily an artist, Scott has worked with many schools over the years to bring the visual arts to children. A pivotal moment would come in 1999 when Scott would become an artist in residence with The K12 Gallery For Young People, an organization that would have a profound effect on his life, and ultimately on a unique population; youth involved with the juvenile justice system.


Peter Benkendorf, Moderator

Peter Benkendorf is a community catalyst, and founder of The Collaboratory, a civic innovation lab located in Talbott Tower. Peter came to Dayton on January 1, 2009, bringing with him Blue Sky Project, an international artist residency and youth collaborative that he founded and co-created in 2004 outside of Chicago. Peter continues to be active in the artist community, advocating for the local art scene, collaborating with local artists and galleries, and hosting exhibitions at both The Collaboratory and The Arts Collaboratory space. He also coordinates the visits of Nigerian artist Ben Ibebe, who will be returning to Dayton for the fourth time in February and March of 2020. Peter is also responsible for Dayton Porchfest and bringing Ethnosh to Dayton—a new initiative that organizes a monthly community dinner at a different immigrant-owned restaurant.

Peter Benkendorf interviews Karen Fisher 


The Genesis of Karen's Artistic Career