16 November 2021

Artists of Arcare | 2021 Arcare Card Art Competition winners

Arcare communities across Australia showcased their talent, creativity, and individual flare in this year’s Arcare Card Art competition.

Residents were encouraged to create original card designs to be included in Arcare’s greeting card range for 2021-2022.

The six card categories included: All Occasion; Season’s Greetings; Birthday; Get Well; Mental Health; and Gratitude.

Close to 200 paintings, sketches, watercolours, original photos, and craft projects were submitted to this year’s competition by Arcare residents and art groups across Victoria, Queensland, and New South Wales.

While the competition has been incredibly tough due to the high calibre of submissions, the top designs were narrowed down for public voting.

After receiving over 400 votes, we present to you the winning artworks from this year’s Arcare Card Art Competition 2021.

Meet The Artists

All Occasion Card Category winner: Paul Oon, Arcare Glenhaven

Arcare Glenhaven resident, Paul Oon can normally be found with a paintbrush in hand and a canvas in front of him.

He had picked up painting as a hobby when he retired, but it only became a passion for him when he moved into Arcare.

Oils are my favourite medium; I paint portraits, landscapes (which are my favourite style), scenes from memory, photographs, abstracts, and anything else that inspires me.”

At 86 years old, Paul continues to fill his canvases with colours whenever he gets a sudden stroke of inspiration.

Paul was selected as a winner for our All-Occasion Card Category, with his winning artwork depicting a lighthouse overlooking the sea.

I am very honoured; I can’t believe I won!” Paul said.

Arcare Glenhaven - Paul Oon Arcare Glenhaven - Paul Oon


Season’s Greetings Category winner: Pamela Walsh, Arcare Kanwal

91-year-old Pamela Walsh first moved into Arcare Kanwal in New South Wales in December 2018 and is now a two-time consecutive winner of the Arcare Card Art Competition.

Winning the All-Occasion card category last year, Pamela has now had her Australiana Christmas card design voted on as the winner for this year’s Season’s Greetings category.

I have been painting for almost 40 years now,” Pamela said. “I am a proud Australian and what can be more Australian than a Kookaburra wearing a Christmas hat. I think it is very iconic.

It was Pamela’s son that encouraged her to join painting classes, and when she moved into Arcare Kanwal, she started painting with acrylic and eventually switched to pastel.

It is only in the recent years that she went back to watercolour.

I was pleased when I found out that I won. It is very humbling to know that other people liked my painting,” Pamela shared.

Pamela used to work in a photographic studio and has participated in art exhibits and art competitions.

It’s definitely very addictive! I paint almost every day in my suite. But I’m so glad that I can continue doing what I love in Arcare Kanwal,” Pamela said.

Arcare Kanwal - Pamela Walsh


Birthday Card Category winner: Iris Soloman, Arcare Surrey Hills

99-year-old Iris moved into our Arcare Surrey Hills community in 2021 and enjoys attending the art classes.

It was her background as a doctor that inspired her to “delve into art and the process behind it.”

However, Iris did not start painting until she retired in her 70s.

I loved to paint from photos I have taken over the years and paint from live models or scenes. I used acrylic and sketched with charcoal,”

Iris enjoys the companionship that art has brought her and the idea of seeing her finished paintings around the house and on the 2021 Arcare Greeting Cards also brings her joy.

“I was extremely surprised and grateful to win the competition. I felt very humbled.” Iris said.

Lifestyle Coordinator Rachel had seen and admired all my artworks in my suite. She had mentioned how we should enter one of them, and we chose this painting, as it has special value. I painted it from a photo of myself at a tulip festival on my travels.”

Arcare Surrey Hills - Iris Soloman

Arcare Surrey Hills - Iris Soloman


Get Well Card Category winner: Tony Laroche, Arcare Parkwood

70-year-old resident Tony Laroche at the Arcare Parkwood community is passionate about all thing’s photography.

He enjoys photographing macro shots, specifically scenes depicting nature, animals and the abstract.

He received his first camera at the young of ten and recalled it was a Kodak Brownie film camera.

Tony has motor neuron disease which is causing his muscles to weaken each day.

However, being a passionate photographer, Tony still shoots around our residence with his compact camera since he moved into our community in 2020.

He also presents his photographs to the other residents and provides a commentary on each image.

When asked about what he loves most about photography, Tony shared, “It’s the fact that the camera has the ability to capture a moment in time.”

“I’m very humbled to win this category and I hope to continue capturing the beauty that is around me,” Tony shared.

Arcare Parkwood - Tony LaRoche


Mental Health Card Category winner: Duree Merkel, Arcare Keysborough

80-year-old Duree Merkel only moved into the Arcare Keysborough community in March 2021, but she has already made a name for herself as one of the residence’s most talented artists.

The former switchboard operator says she has enjoyed making art for over the last 40 years as her hobby.

“I find it incredibly relaxing, and I love being creative.” Duree says.

While Duree typically enjoys knitting, her winning mental health card design was an oil painting of wild, running horses.

“I just love horses. So, they were the inspiration for my design, and I was so shocked to hear that I had won!”

Arcare Keysborough - Duree Merkel

Gratitude Card Category winner: Linda Woodward, Arcare Logan Reserve

Arcare Logan Reserve resident, Linda Woodward was the winner of this year’s Gratitude category in the Arcare Card Art Competition.

Linda’s captivating artwork, “The Pavilion in Moonlight” was captured at the exact moment Venus was visible on 11 May 2017.

“My partner Graham built me a pavilion in our garden, and I painted it in Spring, in Autumn colours, in golden mist and finally, in moonlight.” Linda describes.

“My experience while painting ‘The Pavilion in Moonlight’ required patience and perseverance for many months, but it eventually produced more rewards that I could have expected, and from Venus – a more unexpected ‘out of this world’ reward.” Linda says.

The moonlight and stars represent the patience, perseverance, and support of Arcare team members at Arcare Logan Reserve.

“It is through these values that I hope to inspire other residents and team members at Arcare Logan Reserve.”

Graham and Linda both moved into the Arcare Logan Reserve community together in mid-2021, and the couple are still enjoying their favourite hobbies.

“I still paint at Arcare Logan Reserve.” Linda says.

“I was delighted to learn that I was a finalist in the Wellbeing – Gratitude category, but I was in a state of shock when (Lifestyle) Kamana informed that I was one of the winners. I am honoured that the judges found merit in my plea for patience and perseverance – whatever the situation.”

Arcare Logan Reserve - Linda Woodward Arcare Logan Reserve - Linda Woodward