Arts for Healing Program at St. Mary’s Hospital for Children leverages art therapy to help children heal, thrive, and express themselves
Striking paintings on canvas, clay and ceramic creations, and radiant mosaics brightened the lobby area of St. Mary’s Hospital for Children recently as the children hosted their 2nd annual Art Expo and Sale. Each piece of art was carefully handmade by the children, who used paint, play dough, glass tiles and several unconventional items (such as buttons and Lego blocks) to create their pieces. Staff members and patient families were visibly impressed with the artwork on display, so much so, that within an hour of the sale most of the pieces were marked “sold!”
The Art Expo highlights St. Mary’s ongoing commitment to providing a total-healing environment for the children. St. Mary’s believes that art is particularly beneficial to children with special needs, as it allows children to use their imagination, express themselves, and gain self-confidence.
“Art is truly uplifting to children with special needs who are in constant need of medical care, therapy, and medication, and life-saving procedures. Give them a paint brush, or put paint on their hands or feet and you can actually see an artist in every one of them,” said Vivian Figueroa, Assistant Vice President and Director of the Pediatric Day Healthcare Program (PDHC) and Therapeutic Recreation program. “Such excitement surrounds the Annual Art Expo at St. Mary’s as the children and staff work fiercely to create works of art ready for the Guggenheim.”
The Expo complements St. Mary’s Arts for Healing program which exposes patients and staff to a range of art and music experiences in both indoor and outdoor settings. The program is designed to play a very special role in St. Mary’s total-healing environment by introducing diverse experiences to patients and their families. The program is comprised of specially-created immersive environments, a permanent art collection, and ongoing art and music programming.