Image shown: The Next Step Art Exhibition

The Next Step Art Exhibition is on display in The Camden Palace Hotel, Camden Quay, Cork from 18 May to 25 May 2012. The Next Step was set up in response to the limited opportunities available to, and the challenges facing, people who experience, or have experienced emotional and mental health issues in their lives. The aim is to assist in improving self-confidence and self esteem, and to work towards combating stigma by operating in an open and inclusive environment.

Following a successful pilot project in spring 2011, The Next Step set up an Open Studio in the Camden Palace Hotel. This runs weekly in 10 week blocks, on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10am-4pm. The studio is open for anyone to call in at any time between these hours and to stay as long as they like. The open studio is facilitated (on Thursdays) by artist Charlotte Donovan who has an extensive background in arts and health. She offers support and direction as required for each individual.

Since February 2012 The Next Step has also offered access to Art Therapy as part of their programme. This operates in conjunction with the open studio and is delivered by a masters student from the Crawford College Art Therapy Department.

There is a wide range of ages, backgrounds, interests and artistic experience in the group who attend the studio. This creates a stimulating, inspiring and supportive environment for creative

This exhibition gives a flavour of the artistic output from the studio sessions and demonstrates the diversity and individuality of style, subject and approach.

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