- Thomas Merton
Nothing brings out the soul of a person like the freedom of self-expression through artwork—taking all of one’s emotions and channeling them into a creative product; displaying all of one’s hopes, fears and dreams for the world to see.
Jamie Richardson, Project Coordinator of Education at Children’s Care Hospital & School, understands this very well. In the past year, she has seen students transform themselves through art. Students who otherwise have difficulty sitting still or focusing on a task for longer than a few minutes can take paint to canvas and remain completely intent and focused until their piece is completed. Jamie says that the children enjoy creating artwork because it’s a discipline with no definite right or wrong outcome.
“It’s very calming, very reinforcing—something that they can do independently that is uniquely theirs and they can’t get wrong.” She said.
The most recent projects that the students have completed include a mosaic tile piece that will be glazed, fired and showcased here in Children’s Care after an unveiling ceremony, and painted ceiling tiles that the kids hung up in their dorm rooms.
Jamie and the children have experienced recent success in the art program with the inclusion of their work in the Washington Pavilion and the All Kids Can Create program, a national art exhibition in Washington, D.C. For their efforts, Jamie and the students also received a $1500 grant that will be applied towards the art program.
Jamie hopes to continue building up the art program by continuing with art “camps” during school breaks and by eventually expanding the program to other kids in the community.