Enliven Older People Services Day Programme clients have been taking part in art workshops at Hastings Art Gallery and are working towards providing works for an exhibition from mid-May.

They are doing this through the Connect the Dots Charitable Trust which runs Making Moments workshops for emerging senior artists aged 56-91. Experienced art educators encourage older participants to bring their unique life experiences to shape their own visual language.

“These workshops are another way Enliven can connect to the community,” says Deborah Watts, Enliven Community Programmes Manager. “This is new and exciting territory for Enliven Day Programme staff [Michelle Deans and Janelle Kirkpatrick, Day Programme Coordinators] as well as for our clients.”

“This is crossing a new threshold for some older people who may have never visited the art gallery before,” says Clayton Gibson, Hastings Art Gallery Exhibition Curator. “They may have been to the library but not to the gallery just around the corner. This is a chance for us to show how accessible art can be.”

Enliven shares the vision of Connect the Dots and Hastings Art Gallery – older people engaged, empowered and connected to their communities, in this case through creativity.

“Our clients are enjoying these workshops very much,” says Deborah. “They’re connected to the community, intellectually stimulated and expressing themselves in a way they may not have tried before.” “We plan to keep trying new initiatives and activities for our Enliven Day Programme clients.”

The work of Enliven clients will be exhibited from 14 May at Hastings Art Gallery. Some is already on display in the exhibition Flirting with Form: Works by TOI AKO artists.

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