Focus

By: 
Rachel Solomon

GIVING TUESDAY SPOTLIGHT: ARTFUL THERAPY

When you support the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, you help make possible programs that inspire creativity, enhance lives, and effect change. We’re proud to offer health and wellness initiatives that provide greater access to art and encourage creativity and connection for youth, seniors, and everyone in between. This GivingTuesday, we highlight participants from our celebrated Artful Afternoon program.

Since 2014, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, in partnership with the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia, has been welcoming individuals with dementia and their partners in care to monthly art-filled afternoons at the Gallery. Hannah Minzloff has been accompanying her father, Rainer, to Artful Afternoon sessions since 2016. The results her family has seen from Rainer’s participation have been astonishing – and keep them coming back.

Hanna and Rainer participate in an Artful Afternoon workshop.

Rainer Minzloff comes from a long line of artists and has passed along his passion and appreciation for art and music to his daughter, Hannah, a filmmaker and 6th generation professional photographer, who accompanies him to program sessions as his caregiver for the afternoon. Often they are joined by Hannah’s 10-year-old daughter. Together, Hannah and her daughter enjoy seeing Rainer interact with the program volunteers and participants.

Ranier on the art tour component of the Artful Afternoon program.

Hannah says the program has been invaluable for her and her family:

“Looking back, it's amazing to see how Dad opens up to the staff and volunteers, participating a little more each afternoon. It took two years before he began spontaneously drawing on the kraft paper covering the tables. My favourite memory has to be when Dad drew a beautiful flower on the kraft paper, which my daughter and I used as a template for a felted pin. Dad gave the pin to my mother.”

Artwork - felted pin & drawing

Rainer’s favourite part about the Artful Afternoon program is sharing and experiencing art. He enjoys observing the other participants in the studios while they experiment with the activities, listening to their conversations about art, and commenting on the pieces that his daughter and granddaughter make during their sessions together. Over the course of the past two years, Hannah says her father’s response to the program isn’t only seen while they’re in the Gallery. Long after each session, Rainer will talk to his wife about the art that he saw, discussed and made.

“The long-lasting impact of each session has been incredible. Be sure to come, especially on days when the person you are caring for doesn't want to – it will magically turn their, and your, day around.”

Make a gift this #GivingTuesday and help make programs like Artful Afternoon possible.

Artful Afternoon is presented in partnership with the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia and has supported 220 participants since it was introduced in 2014.