Art boosts spirits.
After a disappointing art show in Paris in the early ’80s, Atlanta-based artist John Feit returned home with an idea to use his talent to benefit others. His first endeavor was creating a gigantic mural on the children’s floor at Northside Hospital. During the process, a young patient wanted to paint, so he handed her a brush. Initially, he was distressed at the mess she was making but soon realized that she was more important than the artwork, so he created a new model that included patients and volunteers.
It was such a success that Feit left his corporate job in 1984 to establish The Foundation for Hospital Art. Today, his son, Scott, is executive director of the nonprofit that recently celebrated the donation of its fifty-thousandth painting to 7,500 hospitals in 195 countries painted by 1 million volunteers. To commemorate the event, the organization returned to Northside Hospital to create a six-panel work of art for the children’s floor painted by cancer patients.
“Studies show that patients have better outcomes if they’re surrounded by art,” Scott says. “Our designers outline objects on individual panels and add small dots to indicate the colors. Volunteers purchase kits and paint, and return them to the Foundation for distribution.”
People of all ages can become involved. The newest program, HeArt Boards, pays tribute to health care workers. As part of that initiative, students at The Lovett School recently donated a number of panels to A.G. Rhodes Nursing Home.
For more information, visit hospitalart.org.
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