Taking Care: Where Art Meets Wellness extended into 2024!

Art Windsor-Essex
3 min readJan 3, 2024
“It’s a safe place. I come here for the community. It feels good to be surrounded by good people and engaging beautiful art.” — Participant

We are thrilled to share some exciting news with our Art Windsor-Essex community! Thanks to the generous support of the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund, AWE is delighted to announce the extension of our art and wellness program, Taking Care: Where Art Meets Wellness into 2024. Taking Care started in January 2021 as a way to support our community with accessible creative programming during the pandemic. Since then, we have hosted 60, free, virtual workshops for over 1550 community members.

What is Taking Care?

If you’ve never attended a workshop before, here’s what to expect: we start with a group check-in and mindfulness activity, explore a theme through AWE’s permanent collection, and create our works of art. Each session concludes with a show-and-share. Activities range from guided meditations and yoga to poetry, crafts, and journaling. Past projects include self-care collages, abstract watercolours, sculpture, and photography, exploring themes such as stress, movement, transformation, loss, and hope.

Who facilitates Taking Care?

Ainslee Winter (she/her) (left) and Derrick Carl Biso (they, he, she) (right).

This year, we will be hosting not one, but two workshops per month: on the first Sunday from 11am-12:30pm and the third Tuesday from 6:30pm-7:30pm of each month. Facilitator Ainslee Winter uses a holistic approach to wellness, offering compassionate care through creative expression. With 5 years of experience as an art therapist and spiritual healer/teacher, she aims to support self-discovery, transformation, inspiration and healing. Joining Ainslee this year as co-facilitator is Derrick Carl Biso! Derrick Carl Biso (they/she/he), is an artist, community organizer, educator, and graphic designer. Serving as a Program Facilitator with QLink Windsor-Essex, Derrick Carl emphasizes the interconnectedness of human identity, creativity, culture, relationships, and the natural world in their works.

What can I expect?

With the support of the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund, AWE will continue to offer a diverse range of wellness activities, from painting and drawing to mindfulness exercises. We look forward to continuing this journey with you, fostering creativity, and promoting a healthier, more connected community through the transformative power of art.

When asked to describe how Taking Care made them feel in one word, participants said: connected, inspired, happy, fulfilled, uplifted, grounded, relaxed, calm, validated, and peaceful. Join us to see what you will find at Taking Care.

For upcoming workshops or to register, please visit www.artwindsoressex.ca/events-workshops/.

Taking Care: Where Art Meets Wellness is generously supported by the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund.

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Art Windsor-Essex

Art Windsor-Essex (AWE) is a non-profit public art gallery that uses the power of art to open hearts and minds to new ideas. Change happens here.