THE café at an Alva wellness centre is set to re-open today, complete with meaningful lockdown art on display.

Following Scottish Government guidelines, the café at Optimise Wellness Centre is opening indoors from Wednesday, July 15.

To ensure social distancing between tables, one of the classrooms usually used for yoga was last week being converted with artworks going up on the walls to decorate the otherwise bare studio.

However, owners Susan and Paul Newman were not content to simply hang anything and everything on the walls.

Instead, they have worked with artists from Clacks and beyond, such as Karen Strang, to treat visitors to something worthy.

Karen recently featured in the Advertiser when she embarked on a project, offering to paint portraits of key workers free of charge, following in the footsteps of a number of artists across the UK.

Her initiative has proven hugely popular in the area with requests still flowing in by the dozen.

A number of the portraits have been on prominent display at Forth Valley Royal Hospital for some weeks as well.

The idea to decorate the Alva café hit home with Karen, who grew up in the Hillfoots and was keen to feature key workers with a connection to the area.

Susan told the Advertiser: "We are going to use the yoga room [for the café] because we can't have classes at the moment.

"It's quite a bare room; it's a studio and it really needs some life brought into it.

"I've been watching Karen's portraits going up on Clackmannanshire Online [on Facebook] for months now and I'm so taken with her stuff."

The Advertiser understands one of the portraits to go up at the café is of Alva's Lynne Russel.

She is a nurse at Forth Valley Royal who is also involved with the Alloa Bowmar Pipe Band as well as the Scouts in the area.

According to the nomination, by friend Siobhan Owen, Lynne is "a trooper" and never complains, even though the pandemic ruined plans for her 40th birthday.

There will be four more portraits, with connections to the Hillfoots or the Wee County more widely.

Alana O'Malley and Veronica Deans are two other local artists set to display their works along with Kaz Beattie, also known as The Magic Peacock, from Falkirk.

Karen, a former Alva Academy pupil, told the Advertiser she was "delighted" to be displaying the portraits.

She added: "What's nice is people can view the works for real, rather than just online."

The works are not for sale, they are just there to be seen with the hopes they will bring a little positivity into people's lives during challenging times.