Creative Minds at the Tate Exchange!


In May 2018 a number of CM Artists worked on an exciting art project at the Tate Modern’s Tate Exchange led by MA students from Westminster University alongside residents from Snowdrop House, Enfield and Appleby House, Epsom. They had the opportunity to not only visit this iconic gallery, but also take part in a ‘Dreamweavers Workshop’ creating a striking installation that was on display at the gallery over Easter! This was a very moving and thought-provoking project for all involved and was a wonderful experience for all the residents who took part. Nicky, Lifestyle Lead at Snowdrop House commented: “Residents and staff made art work using fabrics and textiles to incorporate dreams they’ve had. This was such a fun exercise and it evoked different emotions in everybody involved. One gentleman use to dream about his wife whom had passed a few years previously, and he found it very cathartic. All I can say is what a fantastic day we had. And it’s not everyday you can say that you had work displayed at the Tate!”

tate exchange
tate exchange
tate exchange

We’re excited to announce that we’ll back again at the Tate Exchange in May, working in collaboration with Westminster University on another project! This three-day workshop will run from 15th – 17th May and is open for anyone to come and take part and add to an interactive installation.

tate exchange
Art by Jenny Holzer, Photo by Timeout London

The theme this year is “Movement” and is a response to the current exhibition at The Tate Modern by Jenny Holzer. This has inspired the project to explore ideas surrounding migration and flight, reflecting the way in which we all move through life. On the run up to the 15th of May, our artists will be working on the project and will be joined by students from Westminster University, creating art work with their clients at Care Homes to bring along to the Tate Exchange. This will be installed as a starting point to inspire the 3-day workshop.

We’ll be sharing lots of updates across our social media channels on the run up to the Tate Exchange project, so be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for all the behind-the-scenes action. All are welcome to join us for this exciting workshop!

We hope to see you there!

The CM Artists included in the project are:
Hanna, Cherry, Caroline, Sasha, Alice, George, Kirsteen, Karen, Sarah Jane and Laura.

Clients include:
Residents at Chiswick Care, Arnold House, Kew House, The Burroughs, Foxes Den, Mountbatten, Kingsley, Gable Court, Moor House, Clara Court, plus some clients who receive one-to-one art sessions with CM Artists.

A Day in the life of a Creative Minds Artist: Sarah Bryant

creative minds artist

How long have you been a Creative Minds Artist?
Just over three and a half years. I started in October 2015, and have renewed my franchise for another 3 years.

Tell us what you have been up to today?
I like to start early so by 7:45am I was enjoying a coffee, listening to Classic FM in my PJs whist beginning my prep work for today’s art sessions. I had two floral-themed sessions planned, so cut out templates, created a prototype and prepared some musical playlists to take along to the sessions. This took around an hour. I then got myself dressed and ready to leave the house by around 10:15am. I’m lucky because all of the Care Homes where I am based are all close to where I live.

I arrived at St Dominics Care Home in St Leonards-On-Sea and started the session around 10:30am. I worked with eight residents to create their own tulip collages. I got them to paint the flowers using watercolours, demonstrating different techniques for them to try. We then mounted the tulips onto card adding the vases to create a collage. I love engaging with the residents and chatting about memories that may stem from the theme of the sessions. There’s often lots and fun and laughter.

creative minds artist
creative minds artist
creative minds artist

The session finished around 12pm, and all were thrilled with their work. I drove home for lunch and an hour of downtime before I headed out for the afternoon.

I arrived at Whitebeach Care Home in St Leonards-On-Sea around 1:30pm. The home had booked an extended session with me, as work was being carried out on the building. A group of residents worked on a collaborative “funky flower’ wall display. They all enjoyed painting the backdrop using acrylics, then each created their own 3D flower out of paper plates. The music I prepared was playing in the background, and it was all very upbeat and fun. Once the completed piece was up on the wall, one lady who took part came and hugged me with a tear in her eye. She was so thrilled with the outcome. It’s moments like this that make me really love my job!

creative minds artist
creative minds artist
creative minds artist

It is great when homes display the artwork that the residents create. Not only does it brighten the surroundings, but relatives and visitors always appreciate seeing their creations when they come to visit.

I arrived home by around 4:30pm to finish my working day, and grabbed myself a cuppa whilst popping onto the Creative Minds Community Facebook group to share a few pics from the day. The support from the artists is incredible, and it is a great resource to tap into for ideas and advice.

What would a typical week look like to you?
I’d normally run on average around five-six sessions per week. Sometimes weeks are busier but that is around how many sessions I’d aim for.

How many hours do you normally work in a week?
Including prep time, around 23-24 hours per week.

Where do you get inspiration from on how to carry out your art sessions?
Previous artwork that I’ve created, other artists, exhibitions I have visited, the fact that I live by the sea! I can base my sessions around nature, seasons or topical themes. Anything that is happening in the wider world. I also tailor themes of sessions to client’s interests and hobbies. I tap into the Creative Minds Community who share great ideas with each other. I also like to work with recycled/up-cycled materials.

What first attracted you to the Creative Minds franchise opportunity?
The opportunity to run my own business with full support. I wanted to be able to get creative again with a care group that I am passionate about having lost both of my parents to dementia.

I was also attracted to the opportunity to be able to work flexibly, and work hours that would fit in better with family life. I wanted to be around for my daughter more and being a Creative Minds Artist offered a working solution that would let me choose the hours I wish to work.

What do you like best about being a Creative Minds Artist?
The job satisfaction I gain.
I love to see the reactions from clients and pride at what they can achieve. It’s so rewarding to see how pleased they are to see me when I arrive. This type of feedback is the best motivation anyone could ask for. Knowing I’m making a difference to people’s days.

Read ‘A Day in the Life of Creative Minds Artist: Laura Novak’ here:

The Opening of the Art Studio at Appleby House!


Our CM Artist Kim is now officially an ‘Artist-in-Residence’ at Appleby House Care Home in Epsom, Surrey. The opening of the Art Studio at the home means that residents can drop in and explore their creativity at any time. Kim offers a variety of different artistic materials including acrylics, watercolours, pastels, drawing and inks for residents to enjoy, in a fun and relaxed environment. They even now have a potter’s wheel, where they have been creating some beautiful ceramics.

The studio has been a huge hit with both staff and residents, and was officially opened back in December by the Mayor and Mayoress of Epsom & Ewell.

art studio
art studio
The opening of the Art Studio at Appleby House Care Home in Epsom, Surrey.
art studio
Kim, CM Artist showing a resident how to use the potters wheel.
art studio
Sarah Fenner- Creative Minds Community Development Manager – showing Mayor Neil Dallen and Mayoress Ann Dallen the artwork from Appleby House Residents that had been displayed at the Tate Art Gallery in London in 2018.

The work they produce in the studio goes on display in their in-house Gallery the “Appleby Tate” for all to enjoy. Kim has also secured the residents an exhibition at Bourne Hall in Epsom, which will be open to the public later this year. Residents are all working on their own unique pieces of art for this exciting show, which they are all looking forward to.

art studio
The Mayor of Epsom & Ewell with local pupils from Epsom Primary School.
art studio
Sarah Fenner, from Creative Minds, helping local pupils decorate their stockings inside the new Appleby House Art Studio.
art studio
Creative Minds Artist Karen Utting with residents and staff from Kingsleigh care home, visiting the the opening of Appleby House’s Art Studio.
art studio
James Cropper, Director of Creative Minds – standing next to one of the many care home murals created with the Appleby House residents.

Kim’s art sessions have had a remarkable impact on one particular resident, Judy. She lives with advanced dementia and for years has struggled with communication. As soon as she steps into the Art Studio, she becomes focused, and confidently talks about the colours and textures in her work. Judy is so happy to see Kim each week and looks forward to her art sessions. Before moving to Appleby House, she had never given art or craft a go!

The staff couldn’t believe the effect it has had on her. The work she has created is so vibrant and expressive. Look at her latest piece!…

art studio
Judy’s incredible cat!

CM Artist Kim says; “Art brings her clarity…it’s like she goes into a different place when she’s painting.” Kim couldn’t be more proud to see what Judy has achieved, as well as so many other residents at Appleby House!

Residents, staff, families and friends are all thrilled with the impact that the Art Studio is having on the home. Each week visitors enjoy seeing the latest work that the residents have created.

Kim says; “Each time I am here I am filled with joy and ideas of what we can do. The potential is so vast. I love them all!”

Photo credit: Care UK

Resident Amazes With Stunning Paintings!


After a 16-year break from art, Derrick Waller, resident at Saxonwood Care Home in Battle has re-ignited his creative flair since participating in the art sessions. The staff are delighted to see such beautiful artwork produced by a resident.

resident artist
resident artist

Derrick had a long career as an artist and illustrator and regularly exhibited work. Sadly, following the loss of his wife, he lost his creative passion and no longer felt inspired to continue his artistic practice. His daughter tried to encourage him to attend local art classes, but he was not interested. Then at the beginning of last year, he moved to Saxonwood Care Home where Creative Minds artist Sarah Bryant persuaded him to join her art session.  For the first time in 16 years he picked up a paintbrush again, and has once again become immersed in his creative practice. With a sparkle in his eyes, Derrick proudly shares the artwork he produces with residents at Saxonwood. All thoroughly enjoy viewing his diverse collection of work, which includes paintings, sketches and ceramics.

resident artist
resident artist

His daughter Susan has said; “My sister and I are thrilled to see him producing such beautiful artwork again.”

Creative Minds artist Sarah says; “It is a pleasure and privilege to work with Derrick and to see him creating stunning artwork again. To see the impact our sessions bring to clients, such as Derrick is so empowering. Knowing that you can make a difference gives me incredible job satisfaction,”

resident artist

Our first ‘Art Trip!’


art trip


Sarah F, Our Creative Minds (CM) Artist based in Woking organised a very successful art trip recently with one of her clients to the Lightbox Gallery in Woking. Sarah chose the Lightbox because it is a wonderful setting and very accessible for all with a fabulous selection of exhibitions throughout the year. The residents Edna, John, and Betty from Grey’s Residential home, along with their Carer Sophie had a superb afternoon and can’t wait to do it again!

art trip

art trip


The trip began with a visit to the Ingram Collection. Here the wide variety of works on display had something for everyone, and each resident had their own personal favourite piece. Discussion about realism, surrealism and abstraction was sparked, and Edna was particularly drawn to the abstract. She fell in love with this fantastic piece by William Gear (pictured below).

art trip


Edna commented on the experience: “Marvelous! What a wonderful afternoon and seeing this marvelous art, I hope we can come again.”

Betty’s favourite piece was ‘On the Table’ of the Ingram Collection. She also enjoyed the Ruth Borchard portrait collection, and liked how the individual artists portrayed themselves – their dark sides, and sadness – in their works.

art trip


For many of the residents, this was a new opportunity and ultimately a unique chance to experience art in a different way. Our art sessions aspire to encourage active participation and help clients to create beautiful work. This trip fostered a different kind of involvement in art – one of observation, thoughtfulness, reflection, and discussion. We are delighted to have discovered a new way for residents to enjoy art, and we aim to take the residents of Greys Residential Home on another art trip in the near future and encourage other CM Artists to organise similar art trips for their clients.

art trip

art trip


John also enjoyed the experience; he found that it brought back some happy personal memories. Though he previously preferred to watch his loved one draw, during the two years that Sarah has been delivering art sessions with Grey’s she has seen John experiment with every medium and shy away from nothing. One of his beautiful charcoal studies is now a permanent fixture on the lounge wall. At the Lightbox, Sarah and John were both intrigued by the variety of work created by Sidney Sime, and John was particularly taken with a painting of London taxis (pictured below).

art trip


CM artist Sarah said: “It was such a joy and privilege to bring about and organise this trip as an alternative art session, watching these wonderful folks absorbing the art on display, the intrigue, the questions, the pleasure.” The trip was a great afternoon, topped off by tea and cake in the café to end the day.

We hope that this is the beginning of many more art trips for care homes organised by CM Artists across the country. Art trips are yet another way for us to enhance our service and to ensure that art is truly accessible to everyone.

Thank you for reading.

Appleby House ‘Renaming Ceremony!’


What an exciting year its been for Appleby House Care Home in Epsom!

As you may know we’ve been delivering art sessions to Appleby House for over 2 years now, and the sessions have had a profound impact on the home, staff, residents and relatives. Early this year, Shona the manager announced that in honor of their commitment to the arts they would be renaming all of the suites in the home after famous artists!

The ‘Renaming Ceremony’ took place on May 9th, to officially rename the suites. James Cropper (our Founder and Director) and Sara Hurley were invited to the ceremony, along with Sylvie (Director of Napa) and Jacqui White (Marketing Director for Care UK) who helped cut the ribbon (pictured: credit to Care UK).

James was pleased to tour the house and visit each of the five newly named suites after famous artists, Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh and Leonardo Da Vinci. The entrance to each now features a plaque in the shape of an artist’s palate with the printed surname. (pictures). After the tour James and everyone enjoyed a buffet lunch and glass of wine as a harpist played a beautiful melody at the other side of the room.

appleby houseappleby houseappleby house appleby house appleby house appleby house appleby house appleby house

The art sessions at Appleby House began with James over 2 years ago, before passing the sessions onto Sarah and Sara our Woking and Ascot based CM Artists. Since the beginning of the year CM Artist, Sarah has been delivering weekly inter-generational art sessions at the home, involving residents and children from the local Epsom Primary School. The sessions are widely praised and highly popular at the care home and the ‘Renaming Ceremony’ has been yet another example of the homes commitment to art and the belief that it can have a transformational effect on peoples lives. You can read more about Appleby House in our previous blog posts here:

The ceremony was a huge success, and a good time was had all round. We feel honored to have had this positive impact on our clients, and privileged to work with such an inspiring team.

Thanks for reading.

Creative Minds.

Joyce Shares Her Artist Story


We encounter so many residents with incredible life stories like 97 year old Joyce Cheverton, a resident at Nightingale Hall Care Home in Richmond, North Yorkshire. She’s an inspirational artist and is still creating wonderful artwork today! Here’s Joyce’s artist story including photos of her artwork.

artist story

Born in Harrow in 1920, Joyce showed remarkable artistic talent from an early age, producing saleable oil paintings while still at primary school. She studied for three years at Harrow College of Art and stayed for a further year as a tutor.

During the war years she taught art at the girls convent school in Willesden. When the sirens went she took her class to Willesden underground station which served as an air raid shelter. Joyce’s shelter sketches are some of her most poignant works.

Joyce met and later married David Cheverton, a young RAF officer, in a class of RAF officers she was instructing in the art of camouflage. David became an architect after the war and later a vicar. Joyce supported his ministry with her art.

Throughout her life Joyce was prolific in many forms of art – oils, water colours, posters, engravings, Lino cuts, wood block printing from blocks she carved herself, book illustration and cover design. She painted a huge four wall mural for a London cafe and designed a lounge for a Cunard liner. David and Joyce retired to a bungalow he designed in Preston-under-Scar. Their son Mark and his wife Lottie founded an Art College in Leith which flourishes to this day.

Here are photo’s of Joyce’s art over the years, her artist story…

artist story artist story artist storyartist storyartist story artist story artist story

Lesley (our CM Artist based in Middlesbrough) commented…”I am always amazed at the beautiful art that the residents at Nightingale Hall Care Home produce. Every session is individual and inspiring; not only do the artists excel but those who have never painted before have a breakthrough in something new and lasting.”

“The residents have already created beautiful soft pastel birds, abstract watercolour Kandinsky Circles, acrylic cherry blossom trees.  Last week we used an intense pigment called Brusho and made some stunning bunny bunting to hang across the fireplace. I look forward to many more special moments at Nightingale Hall.”

We look forward to seeing more wonderful artwork created by Joyce and the residents in their Art Sessions. You can see some of the artwork Lesley mentions on our facebook page

Thank you for reading, we hope to inspire you with many more resident artist stories!

Nightingale Hall Care Home is owned by Wellburn Care Homes, see their website for more details:

Gorgeous Daffodils Adorn The Seaton Hospicecare Window!


The residents from Thornfield Care Home (Seaton, Devon) with help from Maria, CM Artist have created a wonderful daffodil window display for the Hospicecare shop in the town centre. The Art Project has taken the residents around 5 sessions to complete and the result is marvelous, its bright, cheerful and inviting! The Major and other Councillors hope to make Seaton a Dementia Friendly Town and Maria has offered to talk about art and the benefits for those with Dementia at their next town meeting.

Maria comments… “Everyone was so pleased with how it looked, and the manager of the shop and the Thornfield manager came down to look and we were so chuffed everyone said it was fantastic. We are hoping to be invited to create more window displays this year.”

Here are some of the Art Session photo’s followed by the final window display.

window display window display window displaywindow display window display window display


This Spring window display was created by residents living at Thornfield Care Home in Seaton in conjunction with artist Maria Bowers from Creative Minds.

Thornfield specialises in dementia care and is rated “Outstanding” by CQC.

Thornfield is part of Cannon Care Homes who also own The Check House in Seaton and Silverleigh in Axminster.

Thornfield Care Home would like to thank Louisa Dayman and the staff of Hospicecare for their continued support and involvement including the Spring window display.

With thanks to Barbara Carter Thornfield Care Home for all her ideas and enthusiasm to arrange this project and Carrie Kelf – Pitts (Registered Manager)

Thanks for reading!

Intergenerational Art Sessions at Appleby!


Since the beginning of 2017 Sarah, our Woking based CM Artist has been delivering weekly Art Sessions to Appleby House care home in Epsom, Surrey with one important difference; local primary school children have been in attendance too! Children from Epsom Primary School have been attending the weekly sessions to help the Appleby residents with their art and to collaborate to create wonderful Art Projects.

The intergenerational sessions have been an amazing success and its been great to see young and old generations interact with one another, creating a stimulating and engaging environment for all. “The children have become more comfortable and confident around the residents, it is great to see how some children take the lead when working with a resident and sometimes the resident will take the lead but great to see them working together. The sessions always create great discussions between the residents and children”, Jacqui the Activity Co-ordinator said.

Here are some wonderful photographs taken by our friend Gareth Pugh of a intergenerational session at Appleby House on the 1st March. The session was inspired by Matisse’s cutouts and the children and older adults had a wide selection of colourful pre-cut shapes to chose from to create their art.

intergenerational art sessions intergenerational art sessions intergenerational art sessions intergenerational art sessions intergenerational art sessions intergenerational art sessions intergenerational art sessionsintergenerational art sessions intergenerational art sessions

Sarah, our Woking based CM Artist has delivered several intergenerational Art Sessions to Appleby House, and says “I am so pleased to have suggested we combine the Art Sessions with the children’s visit to Appleby House. Art breaks down so many barriers for young and old alike, however apprehensive either party is at first the moment the colour appears the generations melt away and young and old just share the moment. Its a joyous experience each and every week no matter what medium i offer them and that joy stays, you can feel it settle into the very construction of Appleby; its walls, the staff, the art. I hope i have the privilege of continuing to run these sessions for a very long time.”

Tracy an Activity Co-ordinator at Appleby House remarks, “The intergenerational sessions work amazingly well with the children enjoying the interaction with the residents. Sarah is brilliant because she leaves the residents and children to create for themselves, knowing when to help!”

Here are some more photo’s of some of the artwork created in the previous inter-generational sessions at Appleby House…

appleby house

Stained Glass Window Art

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Tree and Birds Collage

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Mark Making Books

Commenting on the impact the Art Session have had on the Care Home, Jacqui says “During the sessions you see and hear lots of conversation and laughter, conversations have increased and the residents feel good and look uplifted after the sessions. The art created at these sessions will add to the existing art, which will go onto improve our environment. We are trying to put photographs onto canvas to show how amazing the sessions are and we feel the photographs capture the magic created more than words can say.”

James, the Director of Creative Minds comments “The intergenerational Art Sessions delivered to Appleby House are having a fantastic impact on the residents. It provides the residents with the opportunity to interact and communicate with the children and for the children it provides them with an opportunity to support an older adult with their artwork and in a way learn about the effects of dementia and ageing, which is important for children to have an awareness and appreciation of.”

We hope that this will be the start of what will be many intergenerational Art Sessions delivered to care homes across the country. Watch this space. 

Brightening up Care Homes with Marvelous Murals!




Our Creative Minds (CM) Artist’s visit a huge variety of care homes and other venues every month reaching over 1000 participants in their Art Sessions. Lots of artwork is created by the participants and so we try to encourage all of the care homes and other venues we work with to display the artwork on the walls to help create a vibrant and stimulating environment. All of the care homes that have displayed the residents artwork on their wall have noted not only the positive impact its had on the residents but the impact its had on the care environment, giving the home more vitality. Care homes are now looking at other ways they can liven up communal areas and corridors and the staff at Hammonds Care Home in Bognor Regis decided to approach Jenny S, their CM Artist based in Chichester about painting a mural to brighten up their entrance and hallway. James Hodge, Manager of Hammonds Care Home, explains to us the thought behind the wild flower mural project and how the home has reacted to their fabulous custom artwork!

What made you decide to have a mural at Hammonds Care Home?

“Hammonds is a residential and respite service for adults with learning disabilities. Hammonds has a lovely homely and fun feel to it and we like to keep the place looking bright by displaying the art of the people that live or stay with us here. We have always felt that the entrance and hallway to the home didn’t reflect the atmosphere of the home being quite cold and dull with brown doors to cupboards and noticeboards. It looked more like an office than a home.”

“Jenny S, has been coming to us delivering Art Sessions with some of the people that live here and we discussed what we could do. The Art Sessions participants started off by making `Welcome to Hammonds’ bunting. This looked great but then really got us thinking about doing something more. It then just happened quickly. We looked at some designs, a bit of base painting and hey presto we were underway….and now we have a lovely wild meadow instead of a dull hallway. The Art Sessions group are going to paint some meadow animals and insects to really give it a 3D effect.”





How have the residents and staff reacted to the mural?

“Everyone loves it, visitors, staff and residents. Every time someone comes through the door they comment on it and how much they like it. It seems like everyone has a favourite flower. I find I am often in the hallway with people picking out our favourite ones. One lady has just done her own drawing of her favourite `the daffodil’.”

James asked another resident who lives at the home and they said, “I just like it. I like the colours and it looks much nicer.”




What’s your opinion on the artwork?

“I am a great believer in the influence of environment on people and this has a really positive effect. Our entrance and hallway now reflects the positive and welcoming atmosphere of the home. It gives everyone a lift, is a talking point and it makes me smile every time I walk through the door. The mural is better than I could have hoped for as is the response to it. I had high hopes for the mural and even with these I have been surprised just how much a difference it has made.”

James Hodge Manager, Hammonds Care Home.

“I had a lovely time working on the mural at Hammonds Care Home, the staff and residents were so on board about wanting a piece to brighten up the space. The flowers work so well and It’s great to give them a piece of art that welcomes both them and visitors.”

Jenny S, CM Artist.




We’ve seen a rise in the number of care homes requesting mural’s and this is a service that our community of experienced CM Artists are more happy to provide.

Thanks for reading,