Art And Culture

Art Helps Children Escape Pain of Hospital Stays

Art Helps Children Escape Pain of Hospital StaysArt Helps Children Escape Pain of Hospital Stays

No one likes being in the hospital. The experience can be especially scary for children and their families dealing with serious illnesses.

Art with a Heart in Healthcare aims to diminish the fear, pain, boredom, and depression children might feel by providing individualized art sessions during their time in the hospital.

The Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, a cultural institute of the University of North Florida, in the US, presents some results of that work in "Inside the Outline: Art with a Heart in Healthcare," on display August 6 through December 4, reported.  The exhibition features silhouettes of the patient-artists brought to life by their paintings of colorful patterns, favorite foods, landscapes, and particular interests.

Christy Ponder, executive director of Art with a Heart says "Our new show came to life by asking each patient a simple question: what makes you happy? It is truly amazing to get a glimpse into the patients’ minds to see what makes them happy."

Patients in the program partner with an artist-in-residence who brings out their natural talents and expands their art-making skills while promoting self-confidence and self-awareness during their hospital experience.

Founded in 2001, Art with a Heart in Healthcare provides a staff artist, community volunteers, and UNF interns seven days a week to develop sessions individualized to meet the needs of the patients and families at bedside or in groups at Wolfson Children’s Hospital and Nemours Children’s Clinic.  

The nonprofit’s emphasis on personal expression from a fine art perspective helps humanize the high-tech, clinical atmosphere of the hospital. Art can empower a child in an otherwise powerless situation.

“Art with a Heart brings a professional artist right to sick and injured children in the hospital, which helps our patients cope with their pain and symptoms of their condition, reduces their stress in the hospital setting, and gives them a creative outlet,” said Veronica Scott-Fulton, the vice president of operations and patient care services at the children’s hospital. “It’s a healing therapy that we are proud to offer.”