Art is a very natural way for children to make sense of their world. By creating art, kids can manipulate and take ownership of the objects and space around them. To guide patients in this process, as well as to help them work through issues surrounding being in the hospital, Children’s Hospital has added art therapy to our expanding art program. As Children’s Hospital’s art therapist, I have the amazing opportunity to work with our patients in groups and one-on-one at the bedside to foster creative expression and healing through art.
Student artists get involved
The creation of Children’s Corporate Center a few years ago was seen as a great opportunity to partner with the community. The hospital asked art teachers at local schools to work with their students to come up with ways to make Children’s Hospital brighter, energized, and more child friendly. Today, what we see is a colorful building, inside and out, that is decorated with fantastic artwork created and then generously donated by local students, ranging in age from kindergarten to high school.
We are so thrilled that the west tower expansion project provided an opportunity to continue this community partnership program. The response has been tremendous – more than a dozen schools have contributed almost 500 works of art to Children’s Hospital! When the west tower opens in just a few weeks, you will be amazed at the architecture, the colors and the overall beauty of the new building, enhanced by these kids’ wonderful, colorful artwork.
Because we can’t possibly describe this incredible artwork, we’ve put together a short video that highlights what you will see in the new west tower. Be sure to take a peek!
More about Children’s Art Program
Intuitively, the staff at Children’s Hospital has incorporated what evidence-based research supports: that pediatric patients respond positively to artwork created by their peers. By viewing art made by children of a patient’s same age group, stress levels reduce, anxiety levels reduce, and the patient develops a tacit understanding of community, relationship and hope. The language of art is universal, and the images can speak to all of us about individuality, community, and the world at large. Healing happens through many ways in a medical setting such as this.
Whether viewing art made by other children or allowing patients the opportunity to delve into the creative process themselves, our art program is a growing and essential part of caring for each and every child, body and mind.
To give you some history, the art program at Children’s Hospital began as a volunteer initiative almost ten years ago and has grown to include an art specialist, an art therapist, visiting artist programs, and two rotating galleries: the Skywalk Gallery and the Student Exhibition Gallery. If you have been to Children’s Hospital, you are familiar with these areas, which showcase the talents of professional and student artists. Part of the incentive behind the Skywalk gallery was to allocate commissions from sales to further fund the ever expanding art program.