Room for Art is visual art and social prescribing project providing visual arts on a weekly basis to adults in at least seven areas of Edinburgh with the aim of improving people’s health and wellbeing.
Each workshop is free and delivered by a professional visual artist, a volunteer and a support worker. The sessions are tailored to the interests of the group and participants are encouraged to explore and experiment with different techniques such as; painting, drawing, collage, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, jewellery making, and more.
Our participants are referred by GPs, Link Workers as well as through other third sector organisations, some also refer themselves. Participants may have mental health issues, physical disabilities, feel lonely or isolated or have long term health issues and some have remarked on the importance of the referral process for getting involved.
Making ‘room for art’ and taking part in arts activity can impact positively and in some cases have a transformative effect on health and wellbeing.
Room for Art enables people to explore creativity in a safe, supported space, take time for themselves, meet new people, learn new skills and have fun!
Not just an art class, it becomes an art studio and community for participants who are free to express their creativity in their own way. The aim of the sessions is to make people feel welcome, valued and listened to.
“I've been isolated for a few years now, attending RFA at NEA is the only place I can be creative and form friendships again, it’s my healing place.”
“This project is absolutely amazing. From the moment I was in contact I felt welcomed and valued. There is a real sense of everyone being equal: in terms of the art we all create but also in terms of the dynamic between workers and participants.”
“I like that the focus is enjoying the process of creating not how it turns out.”
“It's a place where if I'm feeling down it always makes me feel better.”
“Room for Art enabled me to stop taking anti-depressants - it is my lifeline.”
“I can distract myself from anxieties, stress, worries and everyday challenges and be mindfully engaged in activities which really do help my whole well-being.”
“We get to express our own idea of art and are not forced to do anything. Can do what we want to do- it’s our own expression.”
“It gives me motivation to get up… I look forward to Monday morning because I have my art class.”
We work in partnership with a range of organisations to reach out to people from different backgrounds, ages, abilities and ethnicities. Such as; The Health Agency, Wester Hailes, North Edinburgh Arts, WHALE Arts, Piershill Library, Open Arms Project, Good Morning Gorgie, VOCAL, and Redhall Walled Garden.
The Big Lottery supported Room for Art from 2016 to 2019 and we are currently funded by the Edinburgh Integrated Joint Board. We receive some sponsorship from Greatart for materials.
Room for Art workshops are currently suspended due to Covid 19 but prior to this was delivered on the following days/times in the locations highlighted below;
The Health Agency
Wester Hailes Healthy Living Centre,
30 Harvesters Way, EH14 3JF
30 Piersfield Terrace, EH8 7BQ
North Edinburgh Arts
15A Pennywell Court, EH4
30 Piersfield Terrace, EH8 7BQ
30 Westburn Grove, EH14 2SA
As our workshops were suspended in March 2020 due to the Covid 19 outbreak, we’ve continued to work with our artists and participants to bring the project online.
Join us on Facebook where we share resources and hold LIVE workshops most Wednesdays at 2pm
Have an explore through our resources where you will find art activity cards, artist inspirations, videos of techniques and more
Our Thursday group who usually meet at Piershill Library, instigated this exhibition to bring some focus during these challenging and unprecedented times and to help to encourage others, especially those of our participants that were shielding, to continue creating. They wanted to bring cheer and positivity and explore how lockdown has impacted on our daily lives and our mental and physical wellbeing. Many thanks to all our participants that submitted their wonderful work.
DATE POSTED: 29th of July 2020
We all know that making art is great for our health and minds, but many art materials do have an impact on the environment and can create a lot of waste. Knowing a bit more and being mindful of how we use and dispose of materials can make the whole creative process even more satisfying. Here are some tips on how to make room for art in as environmentally friendly a way as possible.
DATE POSTED: 19th of May 2020
During lockdown there are so many examples of people being creative at home, but it can be hard to get going. There always 101 things to around the house, you may not have the space, it just gets difficult to get motivated to make anything especially during such a difficult time. Once we start though, it can really help our mental health; take us away from those worries, those bad news reports, calm us down, energise us...
We’ve asked our workshop artists and participants what helps them make room for art and come up with 5 tips. Let us know what you find helpful....
DATE POSTED: 11th of May 2020
Social prescribing is described by NHS Health Scotland as ‘an approach (or range of approaches) for connecting people with non-medical sources of support or resources within the community which are likely to help with the health problems they are experiencing’.
DATE POSTED: 14th of March 2019
We talk to art workshop participants and artists leading the workshops about how they use art materials and what being able to access a wide range of art materials means for their work.
DATE POSTED: 21st of December 2017
It may be useful to understand the strategic importance of culture for Scotland by considering the concept of cultural needs. This submission argues that every individual has cultural needs and that these needs can be satisfied in a range of ways including engagement with the arts.