Youth Art For Healing: A Year’s Culmination & Celebration of Efforts

This school year marks tremendous participation and growth for non-profit Youth Art For Healing—a Bethesda, MD, based organization whose programs contribute to the arts in healthcare movement together with hundreds of students and dozens of art teachers. An astonishing 299 original paintings created by students from 19 area schools, with the support of 24 art teachers across three different counties, will be on display for one night only at a capstone reception May 3, 2016 and then head for permanent installation in nine healthcare locations in the Washington Metropolitan Area. Students from public schools, including 13 in Montgomery County, four in Prince George’s County and two in D.C., are taking part in this movement to create uplifting works of art for patients and families in participating healthcare centers.

Themes for the paintings ranged from fruit and vegetable still lifes, calm nature scenes and landscapes, families and children playing together, flowers and gardens in all four seasons, parks and paths in nature, wildlife and more. Each beautiful painting took countless hours to create and prepare for installation.

This year’s healthcare partners, where the themed collections of students’ artworks will be permanently installed, include:

Holy Cross Hospital,
 MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital – Olney Campus,
 Walter Reed Fisher House at Forest Glen Annex,
 Suburban Hospital, MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital, 
MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, 
Children’s National Health System,
 Prince George’s Hospital Center and Doctors Community Hospital.

At Tuesday’s reception, guests will celebrate the benefits and contributions of talent, time and support from all the students and art teachers, and the comfort, inspiration and healing these works of art will provide for patients, their loved ones and staff alike, who might be dealing with or aiding in the recovery or treatment for a traumatic injury or debilitating disease.

Many years of confirmed studies support what YAFH does to contribute toward the larger arts in healthcare movement. Research indicates that bringing the arts into healthcare environments has tangible impact on the lives of patients and families, helping to improve their physical and emotional healing and recovery.

Even the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale, recognized the benefits of visual stimulation for patients in her care during the mid to late-1800’s, with publication of her words in her book, Notes on Nursing. She is quoted as saying, “Little as we know about the way in which we are affected by form, by colour, and light, we do know this, that they have an actual physical effect. Variety of form and brilliancy of colour in the objects presented to patients are actual means of recovery.”

Earlier during the school year, U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy invited YAFH to have a special exhibit on Capitol Hill, featuring student artwork for several days in the Russell Rotunda located in the Russell Senate Building in Washington D.C.

With their three-phase project-based program approach, YAFH partners and works closely with healthcare organizations and schools, and nurtures the creativity and empathy of students who create healing works of art for permanent installation in healthcare facilities.

Their joint mission is to bring works of art created by youth into healthcare environments to provide a sense of comfort, inspiration and healing for patients and their loved ones, and healthcare professionals.

To view the amazing student artwork and connect with Youth Art For Healing on social media, please select the appropriate channels below and follow the #YouthArtForHealing and #YAFHStudentArt hashtag.

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