Online Art Classes Offer a Lifeline

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The VC Gallery in Haverfordwest has been working to alleviate loneliness and isolation in service veterans and others in the wider community through the arts with a range of projects since it began in 2013.

Image from a member of the art group

One of its latest successes – part of the Brightside Virtual Community sponsored by South Hook LNG Community Fund and Pembrokeshire Association of Voluntary Services (PAVS) – has been the regular virtual art workshops online with Nina Camplin.

Award-winning artist Nina is the online arts facilitator for a programme of art tutorials (known as Nina’s Zoomers) in which she shares her talents with would-be artists from all over Pembrokeshire.

Examples of some of the work from an artist in the group

“We run a programme of twice-weekly tutorials where people get a chance to come together online and learn new skills,” she said. “It is an incredibly supportive group and it’s been a pleasure watching confidence and friendships grow.” In May the workshops have been covering owls with Amy Barrett, water lilies, watercolour seascapes, shadow painting and pointillism.

Mountain challenge

The VC’s founder, veteran Barry John MBE, passionately believes that health, wellbeing and a better quality of life are enhanced by involvement in creativity in all its forms. Determined that services should not suffer as a result of the pandemic and lockdowns, the VC team came up with a range of new possibilities.

Image from one of the Zoomers

This art project allows the VC Gallery  to send out SOS Artboxes for people with limited resources and to help participants with their digital issues, also linking members to the Community Connectors Connect IT tablet loan scheme. 

Example of pointillism

Nina said: “Meeting online and supporting one another through Facebook has meant a really good community with a growing understanding of how challenging life can be for some of us. A participant commented that she ‘felt pretty low this week but the session was the best tonic’.

Prince Charles

“When one of our members explained to us how her various health issues affected her ability to cope with everyday activities, the group responded with huge compassion, with another explaining that she now understood a member of her own family so much better and was able to manage their challenges with greater compassion.”

The VC Gallery says the online workshop option has been so valuable to its members and that it is “so grateful for the collaboration with South Hook LNG who  have been a strong supporter of charities, community initiatives and events for over a decade”.

Shadow painting

Nina said: “We meet on Zoom on a Wednesday between 2pm and 4pm and on a Thursday between 10am and 12 noon. The workshops are recorded, so artists who can’t make it at those times, or want to watch again, can still work with us.

Just some of the parliament of owls

“Workshops are varied and there is something for everyone. All ages and all abilities are welcome to these free, supportive and encouraging sessions; you can learn how to paint like artists such as Monet or van Gogh or Banksy, using a range of media.

“Our aim is to enjoy each other’s company and make us more resilient in these difficult times.”

Booking is easy via Buy tickets for The VC Gallery or contact The VC Gallery to find out more at:


 or by phone : 01437 765873

Here are more examples of work that has already been created in previous sessions...

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Lions and owls
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Painting like Monet… water lilies
May be art of twilight
Lovely sunsets

To find out more and to book call The VC Gallery on :

01437 765873


Kitty Parsons

Kitty has forgotten how long she has been here now but she loves Pembrokeshire for its beauty and it's people. She spends her time searching out stories for, swimming in the sea , drawing and painting as Snorkelfish and eating cake. She says " has been an opportunity to celebrate this beautiful county and its people. Keep the stories coming. We love to hear from you."

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