Is there a role for artists in creating a more compassionate and empathetic environment, an environment that helps patients feel understood and cared for?
A multidisciplinary research team, consisting of a nurse researcher/Institute Scholar, an art therapist/social worker, and two professional artists, sought to answer this question.
We began by asking each child to write an “I Am From” poem. To gain a deep understanding of the children’s experiences, artists conducted one-on-one interviews. They then returned to their studios to create a painting and accompanying narrative based on what they heard.
Upon completion, the nurse researcher and art therapist revealed the painting to the child, asking for his or her thoughts and feelings about the personal painting and narrative, while creating a watercolor print.
This exhibition presents the eight paintings, poems, and children’s responses. After traveling, the paintings will be reunited with the young people. Meanwhile, we gave each child a fleecy blanket with the image of their painting to wrap up in their stories or to display in their homes.
— Judy Rollins, PhD, RN