Art class helps ease loneliness and isolation
An art group founded by two friends who experienced life-changing events is helping to reduce loneliness and isolation and teach people new skills.
Blitz Art meets every Monday at Sylvester Court in Wrexham under the guidance of art tutors Barbara Edwards and Liz Metcalfe.
Barbara and Liz met at an online art class during the Covid pandemic after Barbara took up art for the first time following a serious illness which left her fighting for her life.
When Liz lost her husband last year, they decided to focus their passion for art on creating a new weekly group which would provide an opportunity for people to get together.
Blitz Art was formed and has grown to include a dozen regular attendees at present.
Liz said: “I love teaching and being involved in the group has helped me terrifically since losing my husband. I look forward to the class every week and I enjoy spending time at home preparing for each lesson. It’s a great pleasure when you can see that the students are enjoying themselves.”
The group received help from Wales & West Housing, who provided funding for art materials.
Liz and Barbara teach the group’s members a new skill each week, ranging from watercolours and zen tangles to jewellery making.
“I love teaching and being involved in the group has helped me terrifically since losing my husband.”
Liz Metcalfe, artist
But alongside the learning, it’s being connected with other people which is most important, says Barbara.
“There are set lessons each week but it’s more about getting out and meeting people and having a go,” she said. “I’m happy that people are getting together, they are absolutely loving it.”
Eirwen Price attends the group each week and enjoys the camaraderie and relaxed atmosphere.
“I joined because it was something different and I wanted to meet new people,” she said. “I didn’t think I’d be able to do art but I love coming here. We have such a laugh.”
Blitz Art is the highlight of the week, meanwhile, for Sharon Kite.
She said: “I last did art at school many years ago so it’s been nice to pick it up again. I get it lost in it to be honest, and the time soon passes.”
The group also provides an important social connection for Sian Hope.
“I’ve crafted for years so when Liz mentioned she was starting the group I jumped at the chance to take part,” she said. “It’s great fun learning new things all the time. I’ve met new people and old friends.”