Heather View resident revisited her life-long passion when she attended a local school’s art exhibition.
Jean Valerie Shepherd, an 89 year old resident at Heather View known to her friends as Val, has always had a love of art, and was thrilled to visit a local school to admire the pupils’ creations.
Since she was young, Val enjoyed painting in oils, and one of her favourite subjects to paint was the human figure. She was a practising artist throughout her life, and was a member of many art groups including New Forest and Tunbridge Wells Art Societies, and has also exhibited her work in galleries.
Val trained as a teacher after the war, specialising in music in the early years of her career, and for almost 40 years she taught art in secondary school to O-Level standard. She inspired many generations of budding artists, and always taught inclusively, seeking to encourage a love of line, colour and design in all of her students.
Val became a resident at Heather View in 2015 and since then has taken part in a number of different art activities, including drawing with pastels and chalks, painting and clay modelling. Having created so many wonderful pieces of art, the team at the home have helped display many of these in Val’s bedroom for her to enjoy.
As the lifestyle team at Heather View were aware of Val’s keen interest in art, they got in touch with local secondary school, Beacon Academy, to arrange a special visit to the students’ art exhibition.
Val, who attended the exhibition with her daughter and the lifestyle team from Heather View, was incredibly impressed with the pupils’ artwork. Val became enthusiastic and animated during the visit, taking the time to study each year groups’ submissions in detail.
Home manager at Heather View, Trish Banks, said: “Everybody here at Heather View knows just how much Val enjoys creating and appreciating art, as this has been a large part of her life since she was young.
“Val was incredibly excited when we told her about the art exhibition at nearby school, Beacon Academy, and it became a special date in the diary she looked forward to. We were delighted to be able to take Val to admire the unique artwork that the pupils had created, and while she was there, Val showed a distinct interest in the different techniques the students had used.
“Having seen how excited Val was during the event, we’re already looking to work with the school on their upcoming art projects, and have been discussing future exhibitions to visit. We are firm believers that arts and crafts are a great way to strengthen wellbeing and communication, and we are already hoping to expand the number of art-based activities at the home for residents to join in with.”