"Have you ever executed something like this?"
the Committee Chair inquired. No, I had to confess.
This would be a first.
But this I know: Art plays a role in healing.
So with the blessing of the Oncology Manager and the Art Committee Chairwoman of the Seby B. Jones Cancer Treatment Center in Boone, NC, I set out to organize what I proposed as a "community painting". It would engage anyone who wanted to paint a portion of a line drawn composition and the end result (hopefully)would be suitable for hanging in the oncology infusion room. Healing Ceilings was a past project I loved and my hope was to provide similar healing energies and painted prayers in this one painting. (This article even shows one of my contributions.)
I chose my open houses during Tour de Art to invite guests in to paint. Here's the way the story unfolded throughout the summer:
Parts of this paper schematic were transferred to the board, 36 x 24 (above)
and a painting station with instructions set up (below).
friends, singles, couples and families...all came. Very few deemed themselves artists
but all had a personal reason they wanted to provide a bit of cheer for
cancer patients and caregivers. It was my pleasure to hear these
stories while meeting lots of new folks.
Little by little the piece took on a life of its own.
"Guests artists" were encouraged to be creative, make changes, add their touch.
Sometimes I would turn around and just laugh over how the latest
additions had enhanced the energy of the piece.
Most everyone remembered to sign their name on the back...
unprompted, some left messages of experience, hope and love.
I met men and women from several states. I knew no one's political, religious or educational background. We simply possessed the common purpose of wanting to share some healing love with someone who was experiencing a treatment with which we were all, in some way, familiar.
A side benefit was the opportunity for me to encourage many who had never painted to make a big splash on their first attempt: a piece of public art! woo - hoo....that's rare. Community collaborations are always inspiring in surprising ways and this was no different.
I delivered the painting (titled "It's a New Day,") recently and was appreciative of the recipients' enthusiasm. It is likely that no one who views the art will actually know any of us who made our mark on it. But it is our collective wish that while they spend some time viewing it (and thus not thinking of meds and painful reactions) they will soak up the spirit contained within it...it is truly infused with healing vibes and loving mojo, packed with positive thoughts and prayers for a brighter day.
Just how special is that?
p.s. My title claims that the act of painting also heals, well...you shoulda been there! It is amazing what we can do when we are doing it for someone else!