Stories about: Creative Arts Program

‘Art is a great distraction.’

20160310_CareTeamPhyllis-3(Katherine C. Cohen/Boston Children’s Hospital)

Phyllis Beinart

Artist-in-Residence

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I love my art cart. It’s filled with wonderful things, and I just keep adding more. I wear this apron so patients know that I’m an artist and not here to poke or prod or ask medical questions.

No matter a patient’s age or ability or language, I can find an art project we can do together. When I first go into a room, I try to quickly size up what’s going on and then offer a few different things that might work. With some of the older kids, I’ll suggest cartooning or making flip-books.

No one said ‘no’ to art today!

Art starts out as a great distraction, but once a patient becomes interested, it’s more about the experience. Kids love learning something new, and I love exposing them to something they wouldn’t normally be exposed to. That’s the teacher in me. I retired early as a public school art teacher to work here. I love it.

I try to involve the whole family, because art can be therapeutic for everyone in the room. I saw a patient last week that couldn’t use her hands. I put two markers in her hands, that way one hand could mirror the other and both could become stronger. Her mother told me it was great occupational therapy, even though that wasn’t my goal. Yay for art!close-quote

 

care-team-logoCaring for patients is a true team effort. Care Team highlights the dedication of the people throughout Boston Children’s who do their part to comfort and support patient families each and every day.

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“I hand out a lot of Kleenex and do a lot of hugging.”

CareTeamMirandaRachel_3(Katherine C. Cohen/Boston Children’s Hospital)

Miranda Day, Program Manager, Creative Arts Program

and her mom

Rachel Guardiani, Patient and Family Educator, Medicine Patient Services

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Miranda: I’ve worked here for 12 years; first in Child Life Services and now I run the Creative Arts program. Before that, I was a patient here. I had seven surgeries; the last one was 27 years ago.

Rachel: I run the Resource Room for parents on the ninth floor. I work in collaboration with our Nursing, Social Work, Child Life and chaplains in supporting our inpatient families. We offer chair massage, hand massage and Reiki, and we also provide emergency clothing and toiletries, free coffee and pastries, computers, books, painting and crocheting.

When parents are hearing some of the worst possible news, I can feel it in my bones that they’re so scared. I really do understand what they’re going through. They don’t want to cry or be angry in front of their children so they come here where they feel like somebody is taking care of them. It’s a place of respite and emotional support. I hand out a lot of Kleenex and do a lot of hugging.

Miranda: I think Mom and I approach our jobs as who we really are. She’s a crier and a feeler — always wanting to nurture and take care of us. I’m a fighter and have never wanted to be identified as my diagnosis.

I’ve always pushed for programs that help patients express themselves as individuals with fun, creative talents, along with their diagnoses. Yes, you’re a patient but you’ve also been something else — an artist, a student, a brother, a sister — so let’s keep going with that.

Rachel: When Miranda was a patient, I always looked at it as one moment in time. And that’s how I think about all these children — today might be a bad day, but tomorrow’s going to be a great day.

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care-team-logoCaring for patients is a true team effort. Care Team highlights the dedication of the people throughout Boston Children’s who do their part to comfort and support patient families each and every day.

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The art of healing: Spinal fusion patient Dylan Morang fights through pain for his art

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The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls. – Pablo Picasso

Ever since he was a young boy growing up in Rockland, Maine, Dylan Morang has been artistically inclined. His mother remembers him often sitting at his little desk, happily consumed by his coloring. When he wasn’t drawing, he was gathering inspiration along the beautiful rocky shores and through the deep woods of Maine.

Dylan is now 24, and his love of art has only grown. He studied art in college, taught himself Photoshop, and is currently exhibiting his artwork at Boston Children’s Hospital, where he underwent two surgeries for severe scoliosis and osteogenesis imperfecta, a hereditary disease that causes weak bones.

Hordes of visitors stop to admire the rich watercolor paintings and vibrant graphic designs inspired by the artist’s home: a great horned owl, a fern frond, a Chesapeake Bay blue crab. About his work, Dylan says, “I’ve just always loved art and experimenting with different color combinations.”

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