The weekly drop-in program Afternoon Shift provides space for young adults aged 16 to 30 and their support networks, to socialize, learn from artist facilitators, and create art of their own.
The weekly drop-in program Afternoon Shift provides space for young adults aged 16 to 30 and their support networks, to socialize, learn from artist facilitators, and create art of their own.

Following a pilot last year, Afternoon Shift has returned to the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, allowing young adults facing mental health challenges to view, explore, and express themselves through art.

A partnership with Wonder’neath Art Society, the weekly drop-in program provides space for young adults aged 16 to 30 and their support networks, to socialize, learn from artist facilitators, and create art of their own. With a variety of materials and equipment, opportunities are available for both self-directed and artist-facilitated artmaking. A mental health navigator is also on-site during each session.

“Last year’s Afternoon Shift highlighted the remarkable possibilities of collaborating with Wonder’neath and a team of skilled artist facilitators in creating a community arts space for young people,” says Dale Sheppard, Curator of Education and Public Programs at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in a media release. “The studio space is set up to offer diverse processes and materials with skillful guidance from facilitators who are attentive to the vision of the program. It’s a great context for learning new art skills, exploring ideas and feelings, and being around others.”

For Wonder’neath Art Society co-founder Melissa Marr it is a program that responds directly to her organization’s need for supportive gathering spaces that prioritize work that can contribute to positive mental health outcomes.

“Afternoon Shift is a space that invites not only youth, but also their support networks, and expands the possibilities for greater connectivity and genuine responsiveness as it relates to mental health,” says Marr in the release.

Free to participants, Afternoon Shift continues until April 29. Visit artgalleryofnovascotia.ca for more information.