Opal Windward Manor hosted its first ever Gallery Opening Event last week to showcase a collection of 30 resident artworks that were auctioned off to raise funds for Alzheimer’s Australia NSW.

Residents have been working with an art-based cognitive therapist for the past year to create the wonderful collection of artworks that include large and small canvasses, and watercolours. Each tells a unique story related to a subject chosen by the residents and therapist at their weekly classes.

Featured artworks included the ‘Little Mermaid’, a large canvas artwork inspired by the fairy tales of Hans Christian Anderson, which used a variety of materials including modelling paste for the texture and acrylic paint, before 24 carat gold leaf was added as the finishing touch.

Attendees at the Gallery Opening event included family and friends of the residents and Opal, including Mr John Sidoti, MP, Local Member for Drummoyne. Attendees heard from the home’s manager about the positive impact of the art classes, as well as a family member who has attended the classes for the last six weeks with his mother, a resident of the home.

The night ran as a silent auction with stiff competition for the seven large artworks –the top fundraiser the ‘Silver Birch’ artwork, raising $1,500. On the night, with the artworks sold and donations made, a total of $16,000 was raised for Alzheimer’s Australia.

Residents Pauline and Margaret who led the painting and final touches on a number of the artworks said they were extremely happy they were able to raise funds for such a good cause. Margaret said “It was a brilliant night, giving us the opportunity to show people the work that we do.”

Nooreen Dossa, Corporate Partnership & Engagement Coordinator, accepted the cheque on behalf of Alzheimer’s Australia NSW on the evening. “It’s fantastic to see such an amazing event, where the resident’s beautiful artwork has raised vital funds and awareness for such an important cause,” she said.

Opal Windward Manor plans to turn the Gallery Night into an annual event, with residents already planning their next masterpieces.