Imagine lying on a hospital gurney in a stark white hallway, or a drab hospital room. You are in your bed waiting to get better, just waiting. Now imagine bright beautiful colors while you lie on that same gurney, or in that same hospital bed, transporting you to exotic lands and oceans across the world, or looking up at your ceiling and seeing the blue sky above you with birds in flight. You close your eyes and you are in flight with those birds. For a moment, your illness is gone and you are free from the hospital.
This freedom from illness is what the East Cobb-based Foundation for Hospital Art has been accomplishing since 1984. Scott Feight, the Executive Director of the Foundation explains, “Since 1984, The Foundation for Hospital Art has been dedicated to softening the hospital environment with colorful paintings, wall murals and ceiling tiles. Our dream is to reach patients and medical staffs “in all the hard places.”
Hard places are those areas where patients and medical staffs are working under stress for long periods of time. Adding color and scenes from nature in blank spaces can turn a bleak depressing treatment room into a room of hope.” The Foundation of Hospital Art is truly a family affair. Feight’s father, John, created the Foundation while volunteering at Northside Hospital. He saw stark white hallways and was inspired to transform them into beautiful colors to give patients a place of comfort and love. Since then, his nonprofit has donated art to thousands of healthcare facilities throughout the world.
“Our goal is to make art available to your facility at no cost. “Our quest is to donate at least one painting to every hospital on Earth,” shares Scott. There are several ways in which to volunteer for the Foundation.
The first is to offer your time at their studio on Shallowford Road and help paint the murals for the hospitals. An artist designs the mural (each mural contains six panels) and the painting starts out as a black and white outline, only to become a colorful painting. Volunteers then come into the Foundation’s studio and paint in between the borders with the paint provided. Everyone can feel a part of the art, without being an artist. The art has been painted by patients, families, medical staffs, and volunteers.
Another fun way to help is to hold a PaintFest. Volunteers paint pre-drawn, color-coded designs at PaintFest® events. The completed artwork is then donated to needy healthcare facilities on behalf of the sponsor. An organization can order a PaintFest kit from the Foundation, and all of the supplies for the Murals are provided. The cost of Paint Fest kits vary, depending upon the amount of people who will be attending.
It is also a great way for organizations to host fund raisers. The organization would pay the fee for the kits, and then can charge a fee for people to attend. It is a win/win proposition, because the group can support their cause, while helping the Foundation.
Transfiguration Catholic Church recently hosted a PaintFest. Their “Art for the Heart” event was held on October 12th as a fundraiser for their Christ Teen program. 100 volunteers worked on 33 murals that will be sent to hospitals all around the country, including a Women’s and Children’s Center in Maryland, Dallas Children’s Hospital, Miami Children’s hospital, a hospital in Albany, Georgia, and a hospital in San Diego, CA.
Some East Cobb schools have recently signed up with the Foundation to participate in their Paint Fest program including clubs LassiterHigh School, Sprayberry High School, Pope High School, and Walton High School. Feight feels this is a testament to how much our schools are doing to teach the importance of volunteerism and giving back.
“Through art, you can love and comfort people who are suffering. Bright colors make things brighter and brighten lives and give encouragement. The foundation enables people to volunteer locally and ultimately impact around the world,” says Feight.
Whether you are organizing a large event for hundreds or if you are looking for a way to personally volunteer the Foundation for Hospital Art needs your help. The patients need your help. Please consider joining a “Painting Army” and spread joy through a paintbrush. If you would like more information regarding volunteering for the Foundation of Hospital Arts, you may contact them at: www.hospitalart.org.