Sunset Ridge students make art for Connecticut Children's Medical Center

By Frances Taylor - Staff Writer
East Hartford - posted Sun., Jun. 5, 2011
Students in an art class at Sunset Ridge worked on a project to create a triptych for permanent display at Connecticut Children's Medical Center. Photos by Frances Taylor.
Students in an art class at Sunset Ridge worked on a project to create a triptych for permanent display at Connecticut Children's Medical Center. Photos by Frances Taylor.

For the past few weeks, students in Joann Hogan's Sunset Ridge School art class have been working on a special project that will have a permanent home at Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford.

Art is an important element to the setting at Connecticut Children's Medical Center. The hallways and waiting rooms are filled with colorful pictures and objects made by students and professional artists.

Sunset Ridge is an arts and world language magnet school, and the students in Hogan’s class have signed up to participate in a special arts project. Hogan contacted CCMC with the idea of providing art to medical center. “Much of the art there is done by students, and we wanted to contribute in some way,” she said. The project is a series of brightly-painted panels with different themes.

“It’s a triptych,'' said Eldon Perkins, a fourth-grader. “It’s a series of three panels on a panel that makes one painting.”

Three of the six panels have a land theme, and the other three have a sea theme, the students said. “We looked in drawing books for realistic pictures, but then we added bright colors to make it pop more,” said Jayla Bridges, also in fourth grade.

The art at CCMC is more than just decoration. “The purpose of art in hospital is to create a healing environment for patients, their family and friends, and the staff,” said Susan Hight, curator and coordinator of the Arts and the Environment program at CCMC. “Blank walls are boring, and they are not healthy for patients.”

When completed, the panels will be hung in the Audiology Department of the hospital. The class will work on a third set of panels, with an air theme, in September at the start of the new school year. The art will be a permanent installation.

The class is also writing to CCMC about why they did the project.

“I think the bright colors will make the children feel happier and not scared about what might be happening,” said Natalie Jimenez, a fifth-grader.


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