Heart for Art National Exhibition 2018

National Exhibition

national exhibition poster

CrossReach’s Heart For Art exhibition opens at Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens

The annual Heart for Art exhibition, showcasing a collection of art work from people living with dementia throughout Scotland, is on display and open for viewing at Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens.

Bob Carmichael (Glasgow participant) with his wife Ann
Bob Carmichael (Glasgow participant) with his wife Ann

Aiming to reduce the stigma that can be attached to a dementia diagnosis and showing what can be done, the exhibition promises to be a special celebration of creativity.

Paula Pinda, CrossReach Heart for Art manager, said:

“The ‘Beyond Words’ national exhibition explores the lived experience of dementia, highlighting the positives and looking beyond the condition.

“The exhibition is curated by CrossReach Heart for Art, a service that enables and encourages people to express their emotions through the medium of creative art.


“Artwork is being displayed from over 40 artists: both professional and budding enthusiasts. These artists live in different areas of Scotland: Glasgow, Dundee, Garelochhead, Kirkcudbright, Stonehaven, Edinburgh and Bankfoot.

“Some of the artists have never created any artwork before in their lives and have found a new talent, and for others art was an old friend once thought lost forever. Encouraged by professional art tutors, their talent is reawakened.”

Launched in 2012, the Heart for Art initiative has been bringing joy to people affected by dementia for the last six years.

Through running group sessions with the help of art tutors, the project has been found to stimulate conversation, aid concentration and even improve memory retention.

Participants don’t have to be experienced to take part, with beginners working alongside people who have been painting for years.

Families of those living with dementia are also able to take part alongside their relatives, giving them a chance to take a break or speak to others with similar experiences. They can also get advice from a CrossReach Dementia Ambassador during the session.

Aileen Kenney, participant from Edinburgh
Aileen Kenney, participant from Edinburgh
Audrey and her husband David Swinfen (Glasgow participants)
Audrey and her husband David Swinfen (Glasgow participants)
Bob Carmichael and Jack Blockley (participants from Glasgow)
Bob Carmichael and Jack Blockley (participants from Glasgow)
Hazel Gower, Edinburgh participant
Hazel Gower, Edinburgh participant

A service which ‘enables and empowers people to find their voice’

The Heart for Art service provides community based art classes all over Scotland, enabling and empowering people to find their voice through the medium of art.

Through the exhibition, CrossReach Heart for Art have sought to tackle some of the misunderstandings and stigma surrounding dementia by showcasing the resilience of creative ability: giving visitors the opportunity to view artwork made and selected by people living with the condition.

The exhibition explores how the act of both viewing and making art can be a powerful way of connecting with self, forging meaningful connections with others, and improving the general well-being of those living with dementia and their carers.

Expressing her pride at the response the exhibition has had from visitors, Paula said:

“‘Beyond Words’ has turned out to be a huge success. Heart for Art participants and their families from across Scotland have visited the exhibition and were thrilled to see their artwork being exhibited.”

You can view this year’s Heart for Art exhibition by visiting Glasgow Botanic Gardens, Kibble Palace 730, Great Western Road, Glasgow, G12 OUE.

The exhibition will run until Thursday 16 August between 10am-6pm every day.

It is free to enter and no advanced booking is required.