At Ward Park Base, artists can  work in a wide range of mediums. We are open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday - 10am until 2.30pm.  We also provide 3 x free art programmes to Older Persons Rehabilitation at Waikato Hospital. This service is sponsored by The Braemar Charitable Trust. 

Open Studio Access - $5.00 per session.  The philosophy of the Trust is that everyone has the right to be creative no matter what their circumstances are.  People can choose their own projects and work at their own pace, or they can work on a group project with an art tutor available to offer advice. Many people like to meet new people and build their social contacts with like minded people. Our artists range from first time artists to very experienced artists. Everybody is welcome.

Supported Open Studio -  Participants choose their own projects and work at their own pace.  Our staff help and encourage creativity in a caring and supportive environment.  There is no required level of expertise and many of our participants have no previous art experience.  Participants are eligible to submit 2 pieces of artwork in the annual Arts for Health art exhibition and competition at a reduced rate. The goals of supportive open studio are to build a creative portfolio of artwork, meet and make new friends, maintain wellness, be part of community art projects, have fun, share stories and laugh.  Basic art materials are included in this service.  

This requires an assessment for eligibility and is a fee paying service. 

Community Art Classes - We have a great range of community classes available each term.  Follow us on Facebook or contact the office to see our latest classes.

Art Therapy - We provide art therapy sessions for people who require therapeutic support to work through difficulties or issues in their lives with our registered art therapists. Art therapy uses creative processes including art making, drama and dance/movement within a therapeutic relationship to improve and enhance physical, emotional and mental welling. Art therapy can be offered to people of all ages and abilities and embraces a variety of psychotherapy theoretical frameworks. This type of therapy can be practiced with individuals and groups, families and communities. Participants do not need to have prior experience of the creative modalities. Beneficiaries may be eligible for WINZ funding. 

Boutique Training Gallery - Starting out artists are supported to learn the skills of hanging a successful exhibition.  The gallery is available to the public for hireage. 

Art Competition / Exhibition - Our annual community art exhibition and competition is open to the public and provides an avenue for individual artists to exhibit their work.  Watch our Facebook page for more details.   Our Facebook page    This is usually held mid-year.  See the details from our 2018 competition.


If you think that you would like to attend any of our services at Arts for Health we would invite you to ring us for an appointment to come in and visit us. We would talk about your hopes and goals and show you through our art studios to give you a better idea of what we do. 

Your art facilitator would offer some suggestions to start you off on your artistic journey. Alternatively if you have a specific project in mind you could start working towards that.

Many of our artists come to Arts for Health to develop their skills and techniques, while others prefer to use the arts to develop a wider social circle with like minded people. 

We encourage all of our artists to participate in exhibitions and competitions when they feel ready. This is a great way to celebrate success and share their accomplishments.  Contact us. 


In 1986, as a result of funding issues, the occupational therapists stopped providing art and crafts activities to patients at the Waikato Hospital. Valerie Wright-St Clair (Head Occupational Therapist at Waikato Hospital) negotiated with the Waikato Hospital Health Board to make art and crafts available to the patients. Libby Clements (Hamilton City Council Recreational Officer) was the brainchild of this scheme via Penny Eames (Arts Access Aotearoa) after a meeting with Peter Senior from Arts for Health, Manchester, England.

On 13th February 1987 a group was formed with Heather Lomas and Margaret Loughnan on the committee. Rosemarie Biland joined the group as Volunteer Co-Ordinator in March 1987. Rosemarie also worked with several groups in the Hamilton and Waikato area delivering music, singing and musical instrument making. 
On 4th September 1991 the group was officially registered as "Arts for Health (Waikato Hospital) Trust".
In November 1996 the Tactile Therapy group (Massage Group) joined Arts for Health as an umbrella group. The group had an active presence in Wards 2 and 12 (General Surgery), Ward 25 (Palliative Care), Haemotology and in the Mothercraft unit - and other areas by individual request.

In 1998 the Trust began sessions in the Henry Bennett Centre, Older Persons' Rehabilitation Wards and the Lions' Cancer Lodge.  Due to funding cuts these services were discontinued in 2016. 

Also in 1998 the Trust was offered a venue to lease in the community by the Hamilton City Council at Ward Park Arts & Crafts Centre, in recognition of our work. We have been successful in retaining the lease of this venue still today.
In 2007 the name was changed to "Arts for Health Community Trust".


On Sunday 9th April 2017 we celebrated our 30th birthday with a get-together at Hamilton Gardens.

It was great to hear speakers talk about the past 30 years, and a silent auction of clients' artwork was held. A very enjoyable afternoon. We look forward to celebrating our 40th birthday in 2027!
Thank you all who attended.