Bringing art to seniors

Halifax Chronicle Herald

Heather Hawley has taught art in her home studio, at local schools and in Halifax recreation programs. She loves bringing art to people — as many people as she possibly can. Lately she’s been taking her show on the road (so to speak) by bringing her art lessons to a variety of senior homes, centres and clubs throughout Halifax.

“By coming to where the learners are, it makes the class convenient and comfortable,” says Hawley. “Whether it’s a regular class or a onetime event, it’s a fun way to relax and socialize.”

Hawley, through her business Purple Pear Art, usually has groups of between 10 to 20 attendees in her sessions. She provides everything the artists will need, from easels and canvas to paints and brushes.

“When it comes to art, we all have something to offer. This is an opportunity to show creativity and play with colour,” she says.

Purple Pear Art uses acrylic paints, which are quick to dry and are easy for beginners to work with.

The class chooses the piece of art they would like to paint and then Hawley demonstrates step by step, as she coaches the students along for about two and a half hours. No previous art experience is needed.

“At the end of the class, the artists can choose to keep the piece or to present it to someone as a gift. Either way, it’s fun to leave with your own personal creation.”

“Although art is stimulating and creative for the mind, it’s also a great way to relax and relieve stress,” says Hawley. “It also strengthens fine motor skills in a fun way.”

Purple Pear Art enjoys bringing art to seniors’ residences and creates a fun and exciting atmosphere. The type of art that can be chosen as projects are found on the website. Simply choose one of the pieces from the samples shown and register your group online.

Purple Pear Art arrives at the residence a half hour before the lesson begins with the supplies needed. All that is required is a well-lit space or recreation room that has a sink and counter area and enough tables and chairs for a group of 10-20 people. The cost is $40 per person.

“I get so many benefits from painting myself that I want to pass on my enthusiasm on to others,” says Hawley.

“I’d like to make it possible for everyone to experience that incredible joy of creating art. My whole reason for creating Purple Pear Art is to share my passion with others. I want it to be affordable, incredibly convenient, but most importantly, fun.”