Thanks to the R. Howard Webster Foundation, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (AGNS) is able to continue and expand its program, Artful Afternoon. Artful Afternoon is a partnership program with the Alzheimer’s Society of Nova Scotia which offers a creative and relaxing art experience on the last Sunday of each month at AGNS for those with early to mid stage dementia and their care partner.

These afternoon sessions are facilitated by a highly-qualified artist and Alzheimer’s support staff who provide an interactive Gallery tour followed by hands-on art activities in the studio inspired by the artworks they see in the Gallery. Each year, participants have the opportunity to participate in an exhibition on display at AGNS. Showcasing their work offers an additional sense of pride and ownership, and it raises awareness with visitors to the gallery of Alzheimer’s and the value of art-making.

With the growing number of people with a dementia diagnosis and the corresponding rise of those providing personal care as a family member or friend, Artful Afternoon provides an ideal place for friendship, creativity, enjoyment, and respite. It is often seen by participants as a bright spot in their monthly calendars.  In addition, with the development of individual Art Kits as part of the virtual sessions, some participants are now creating art outside of the workshops and then, sharing their work with enthusiasm at the monthly workshop.

The Artful Afternoon workshop leverages the power of art for the health and social benefit of people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, as well as for their partners-in-care. By providing a supportive, immersive setting for enjoying art-making, Artful Afternoon promotes physical, cognitive, and emotional well-being while strengthening and maintaining important social bonds and a sense of community.

Art Gallery of Nova Scotia