When patients glance up at the ceiling in the medical imaging department at Surrey Memorial Hospital, they’ll find comfort in the colourful creations of art students from Fleetwood Park Secondary.
The school’s entire Grade 11 and 12 painting and drawing class worked together to paint eight ceiling panels for the hospital. The results are a collage of abstract and realistic images of people, nature and words aimed at distracting patients with their beauty and detail.
“Every student’s mark is on these tiles, so it’s a wonderful legacy for the class and a testament to the contribution they can make by working together,” says art teacher Carolynn Elliot.
Elliot had her students each create a small-scale design based on the themes of community, culture and heritage, inspiration and technology. Eight pieces were selected to be turned into full-size works, and Surrey Memorial Hospital provided the ceiling panels on which to paint them.
Grade 12 student Paul Kim paid homage to Canada’s rich cultural mosaic with the ceiling panel he designed.
“It reflects what’s great about Canada – all these cultures coming together and blending into what it means to be Canadian.”
Julia Rocho, in Grade 11, says her painting featuring words and colourful images was inspired by the Citizen Cope song, Let the Drummer Kick. She says the song helped her through difficult times, and she hopes her work will be a similar balm for anxious patients.
“If it were me, I would want to look at something beautiful that would draw me outside of where I was.”
Jessica Viaje’s piece featuring paper cranes honours the victims of the Japanese earthquake.
“I was really affected when I found out about the earthquake hitting Japan and I wanted to do a tribute to them.”
This is the second year Fleetwood Park arts students have painted ceiling panels for installation at SMH. Last year, students created three pieces that were also installed in the medical imaging department.
So positive was the feedback from staff and patients that students were asked to make a similar contribution of talent this year.
“The students love that they can help people with their art,” says Elliot.
The student art project was the idea of Fleetwood Park parent Karen Donaghy, a registered nurse in the medical imaging department at SMH, and colleague, Carolynn Murdoch, a radiology technologist.
Donaghy says the art gives patients a pleasant distraction while they await their procedures.
“I have even had patients focus on part of the pictures while doing venipuncture (needle insertion), which works effectively.”