Residents at Excelcare’s Park Avenue Care Home in Bromley have been exploring the power of reflection through art for National Day of Arts in Care Homes.

Hosted by NAPA, National Day of Arts in Care Home aims to celebrate the power of arts for people wo live in care and encourage them to experience the benefits that different art forms can have on their physical and mental wellbeing.

This year the theme for National Day of Arts in Care is reflection and care homes across the UK have been encouraged to take part in activities that surround this theme. Thinking out the box and exploring the theme through different art forms means residents in care homes across the UK will experience the day in a different way.

At Excelcare, urban and portrait artist, Paul Cruz, was welcomed into Park Avenue Care Home to do portrait sketches of some of the people who live there. Residents were welcomed into the activity room for one-to-one session with Paul and sit comfortably as their reflections were recreated with graphite and paper. Residents were excited to sit for their portrait as many had never done this before. The session made residents feel like royalty as for many, the only portrait drawings they had seen were of notable figures and the royal family.

The reaction to their finished portrait was a sight to behold, as Paul not only captured their physical appearance, but traits of their personality through the effects and shading he used. Seeing their finished portraits raised smiles amongst residents and aided with reminiscence as people reflected on their lives and induvial stories.

Patricia, who lives at Park Avenue began telling stories about her career in teaching and the variety of people she met throughout her career. She also enjoyed conversating with Alison Teader, Programme Director of Arts in Care Homes who was in attendance to witness the session first hand.

In reaction to the session, Alison said, “It was wonderful to see the artist creating such lovely, sensitive portraits of residents from Park Avenue and to see their reaction on being shown the final artwork. I also thoroughly enjoyed chatting to Patricia and hearing her thoughts on creativity, activities and happy memories from her teaching career and family life. The National Day of Arts in Care Homes provides an opportunity for residents, team members and family members to have access to the arts and new creative opportunities. It was wonderful to attend an event in person and witness some of the wellbeing benefits for all involved, first hand.”

Not only was this session as success, but residents left with a personal piece of art to frame and hang in their room, or gift to a family member. The portrait session also inspired residents to have a go at pencil to paper art themselves and will be swapping their posing skills for portrait skills in the coming weeks, as they have a go at drawing their friends.

For more information about National Day of Arts in Care, visit artsincarehomes.org.uk