A heart warming story as to the positive effects of the SAA Guidelines to Art Starter Kits...

Back in December 2012 the SAA donated Guidelines to Art starter kits, to Shirley Fookes, a SAA member who runs local art classes in a local home for the elderly.

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Roll on to 2014, we pick up this story...
The class has been very successful and enjoyed by all... So much so that there was such enthusiasm and anticipation for Shirley's Thursday morning class.

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We are a class of seven in all, and have been joined by two ladies, one who knits for premature babies, and on who brings her sewing.

One of our ladies - Joan, due to stroke, had forgotten how to paint and had previously been a talented painter.

May had a life long ambition to pursue portraiture. Although only an amateur Shirly had been guiding her there, Both have produced some good work and have been proud. Joy had an archive of delicate coloured pencil work which was lovely. She began to use pastels with good effect.

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The group had agreed to have an exhibition to celebrate the one year anniversary. Which was held back on 5th December and it was such a success. Every one was so proud of their work.

Some of the exhibited artwork

We threw it open to all residents who had made something, therefore we had embroidery, knitting, even the manager provided two of his paintings completed while ago.

The group commissioned Norman, an enthusiastic calligrapher, to do the name tickets. He made a lovely job of them, and was very helpful in setting up His book drew a lot of attention.

The manager gave a sherry reception!

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Meet the group

Rosemary, makes cards, paints and embroiders but could not attend on the day. Joyce enjoys pastel work and has settled in nicely. Hazel. who has just had her 93rd birthday, was a complete beginner and has found her forte in painting pastel animals.

Rita knits for premature babies and is a keen member of the group. Beryl does cross stitch work and she and Rita sit by the window for good light. Norman is the is an enthusiastic calligrapher, and plans to sit in with us and practise his craft.

shirleys photos 2013 art exhibition 173left to right - Joyce, Hazel, Rita, Beryl, Norman, Diana with Shirley standing at the back.

Diana's work shown was completed a while back, which I like very much, and she is now doing water colours in the group Irene exhibited her brilliant framed cottage and eagle in cross stitch done a few years ago, Felicity is a keen embroiderer, and produces a lot of work

Jean, a new resident, was encouraged to bring her embroidered tablecloths which she completed a few years ago

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A sad, and then happy update
Since the exhibition it is with great sadness that we learn that that Joan, Joy and May have died in the spate of Eight weeks, thankfully with no suffering. Of course the group is devastated, they were all such lovely ladies, and they had such a laugh.

Shirley says that that on reflection their last ten months or so had been all the better for their Thursday mornings, and for that I am happy.

There is further fantastic news - one new lady has come down to our group (she had to be coaxed from her room by her carer) and in due course there will be more moving in to the building. And of course the group will continue.

Find out more about Guidelines to Art
If you want to know more about this project, visit the Guidelines to Art webpages here:  http://www.saa.co.uk/info/guidelines-to-art