The Appleby Tate!


On the 19th June 2015, Appleby House Care Home in Epsom, Surrey held an open day where the Mayor and Mayoress of Epson and Ewell officially opened the ‘Appleby Tate’ gallery.

The ‘Appleby Tate’ is an stunning gallery space within the care home, which is used to display all the fantastic artwork created by the residents in the Art Sessions. The Appleby Tate gallery provides a therapeutic space within the care home where the residents can relax, admire and meet with their relatives and visitors. It also provides a talking point for residents, encourages a social atmosphere, creates a lovely environment for the residents to live and seeing their artwork on display gives them a real sense of achievement and we believe empowerment.

Appleby Tate, Appleby House Care Home, Art Sessions, Creative Minds

appleby tate

Appleby Tate, Appleby House Care Home, Art Sessions, Creative Minds 3

Undoubtedly one of the most impressive pieces of art in the exhibition is the huge pastel landscape (picture featured) that took the residents five Art Sessions to complete; it is now beautifully framed and proudly on display for all to admire. James Cropper the Founder and Director of Creative Minds, has been delivering Art Sessions to Appleby House, part of Care UK, for over a year and the residents have created a vast amount of artwork during the sessions exploring different mediums and materials.

Pastel Landscape, Appleby Tate, Appleby House Care Home, Art Sessions, Creative Minds

James said; “The Art Sessions are hugely popular at Appleby House and all of the residents that participate create fantastic artwork, and really immerse themselves in the creative process. An important aspect of the Art Sessions is their accessibility, but we also want the residents to have fun, relax and feel supported with a professional artist on hand. When I saw the Appleby Tate it brought a tear to my eye, it is the most incredible exhibit of the resident’s artwork I’ve seen.”

Appleby Tate, Appleby House Care Home, Art Sessions, Creative Minds 4

Appleby Tate, Appleby House Care Home, Art Sessions, Creative Minds 5

Shona, Manager at Appleby House, commented at the opening; “James sees the creative potential in everyone, but what makes the difference is that he makes the art sessions easy, fun and engaging for residents, all of whom are living with different types of dementia and at various stages of the condition. We were so proud of what the residents had created that we began removing pictures from the home’s walls and replacing them with their paintings, so we’ve now launched the Appleby Tate.”

It is known in health care that participation in an array of activities in care homes is vital in maintaining an individual’s health and wellbeing. Our Art Sessions provide a relaxing environment for the residents to explore their creativity and feel engaged and empowered through the use of various materials and mediums to create works of art. Residents, staff and family members have noted that our sessions help to reduce agitation, improve mood, dexterity, social cohesion and boost levels of self-esteem and confidence. In addition, residents regularly produce beautiful artwork, which can be displayed just like the Appleby Tate, throughout the care home.

It is our aim as a growing community is to enrich the lives of as many people as possible through our empowering and enhancing Art Sessions across the UK every day!

Pastel Landscape, Appleby Tate, Appleby House Care Home, Art Sessions, Creative Minds 2

photo credit and addtional article:

Surrey Life Feature


Creative Minds had a great year in 2014. Lots of Art Sessions were delivered, art work created and art projects completed and we received some amazing publicity in local and regional news. And in December 2014 we had an amazing feature in the Surrey Life Magazine Christmas Edition in time for the Christmas hols!

“Its fantastic publicity and recognition for Creative Minds to be featured in the Surrey Life Magazine, especially in the Christmas Edition which may have been seen by 1000’s of people” says James. James was interviewed in November by the magazines art editor Tinx Newton who has her own section in the magazine called Art Life where she reports on new exhibitions and profiles local artists.

Have a read of our feature below…

surrey life creative minds

surrey life creative minds

James and Creative Minds wants to thank Surrey Life for our feature and helping to raise awareness of the valuable work that we do with vulnerable people in Surrey.

For more about the magazine visit

Thank you for reading…

The Easter Bunny!


From February right thought to April I did various Easter related Art Projects with the residents in care homes. Two of the Art Projects in particular involved making a giant Easter Bunny out of recycled materials covered in paper mache!

Both Easter Bunny ‘s were built entirely out of recycled materials including boxes, cardboard, plastic packaging and bottles. Masking tape is important in binding all the different recycled materials together to build the sculpture. Once the sculpture has been built and was sturdy and secure we then started to cover the entire structure with 2/3 layers of paper mache (See image below).

Once the Easter Bunny had been covered in paper mache, dried thoroughly and primed it was time for me and the resident’s to give him some colour. As you can see in the image below we decided to paint him a mousey brown colour whilst tailoring a nice jacket bought from the charity shop for him. To secure the jacket we used drawing pins and then a staple gun to fix it in place.

Easter Bunny - Primmed, painted and with fitted jacket.

After 4/5 Art Sessions we had finally completed the Easter Bunny in time for Easter. We added lots of details using a mixture of acrylic paints to his face. We used some cotton wool buds for his ears , white felt for his belly and pipe cleaners for his whiskers. And to finish him off a paper daffodil in his pocket! The finished sculpture was about 3.5ft tall!

Easter Bunny - finished display at care home.

As you can see he is surrounded by Easter eggs (made and painted by the residents in the Art Sessions) and some little lambs making a lovely Easter display for all the residents and visitors to the care home! 🙂

Easter Bunny - close up

Easter Bunny & CM founder James Cropper

More Art Projects to come from myself and Creative Minds. Thank you for reading! 🙂


Our feature in the Surrey Advertiser!


We are proud to announce that Creative Minds has been featured in not 1 but 2 of the local Surrey Papers at the end of February!!

Here’s one of our features in the Surrey Advertiser with myself and two of the lovely elderly residents that I work with from Avery’s Silvermere Care Home! As you can see they’re holding their framed pastel landscapes that were produced in one of the Art Sessions held at Silvermere!

I had a long telephone interview with Fergus the Community News Editor at the Surrey Advertiser about my previous experiences, Creative Minds and working with the elderly and people with learning disabilities. I told Fergus… “The aim of the sessions is to provide exciting and engaging activities which are good for the health and well-being of the residents by stimulating their minds in a relaxed atmosphere with no pressure”.


Creative Minds feature in the Surrey Advertiser.


Here is another feature this time in the Elmbridge Guardian which talks more specifically about the Art Sessions at Silvermere in Cobham.

It says – “The art sessions allow residents to express themselves in a calm and engaging atmosphere and allows residents with dementia to reconnect with previous experiences and memories.”


Creative Minds in the Surrey Advertiser & Elmbridge Guardian.


We were very excited to be featured in two of Surrey’s prominent newspapers and its some great initial publicity for Creative Minds. This is the first but it definitely wont be the last, more features and articles to come folks!

Thanks for reading!