Arts in Healthcare

My service-learning project surrounds the theme “Arts in Healthcare”. I am working with Lindsay Oestreich from class and we are working with Sarah Petto, the artist-in-residence at the UW Hospital and Clinics, and Megan Blake-Horst, the Gallery Manager at Absolutely Art.

Most recently, Lindsay and I worked closely with Meghan from Absolutely Art and Sarah Petto to organize a Pumpkin-Painting Event for families from the hospital but we kept it an open event to anyone who passed by the store. Sarah’s son-in-law was generous enough to donate pumpkins from his farm and Sarah dropped those off at the Absolutely Art Gallery. Meghan was very accommodating by letting us use her gallery for the location of the pumpkin painting. We had originally planned to have the event in the backyard, but due to the rain we were forced to set up camp in the front of the store. Lindsay and I had a wonderful time painting pumpkins, which we decided to donate to cancer patients at the UW Hospital as well as some of the nurses. Unbeknownst to Lindsay and I, we actually turned out to be quite the pumpkin painting artists! Who knew?!

Like most events, this one did not go on without a hitch. We started planning on Sunday the 21st and the event was Thursday evening (the 25th). Lindsay and Meghan had collaborated on a flyer advertising the event, Meghan sent out emails as well as posted about the event on Facebook, and Sarah set out flyers at the hospital, but we ended up only having 4 people come in to paint pumpkins. They found out about if by just walking into the store and inquiring about the pumpkins because of a sign we had set out on the sidewalk. We had a 2 year old boy with his moms, 2 girls about college-aged, and an older man with mental and physical disabilities. I was pleased to work with the older man because I am a Special Education major, and we painted a really fun pumpkin together. Despite the low attendance, Lindsay and I still had a blast painting pumpkins together, and we ended up just donating the pumpkins so the patients at the Hospital could still have a piece of our work.

After this most recent event, Lindsay and I have logged 17 hours together towards this service-learning project. We’re hoping to plan one or two more events to complete the rest of our hours. This project has definitely taken a different route than Lindsay and I had originally anticipated, but I don’t think that has affected our goals overall. We want to have a positive impact on those in the UW hospital as well as create an overall awareness of the impact that the arts have in healthcare. We are still hoping to create a display window at the art gallery so the public and local community can stop to look and see what Lindsay and I have been doing this semester and show what a positive impact Arts in Healthcare can have on individuals.

I included three pictures to give you an idea of what events Lindsay and I have been involved with. The picture below is the from the photography gallery night hosted at Absolutely Art, we are posing with Meghan Blake-Horst. The pictures at the top of the page are from the Pumpkin Painting event with Sarah Petto in front of our pumpkins in the storefront and the other is a close up of some of the pumpkins that Lindsay and I painted. Sarah said she would take pictures of her delivering the pumpkins to the patients and nurses at the hospital, so hopefully I will be able to share those with you as well!

Nicole Condit

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