An alumna and a current student from the University of Findlay recently developed a project for the new Armes Family Cancer Care Center in Findlay, Ohio. Karlee Cole who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and art worked with Kacie Pohlman, an art and psychology major, to offer an artistic activity that combines nature and nurturing.
It all started when Valerie Escobedo, associate professor of art, received a call from Colleen Lazar, a development officer for Blanchard Valley Health System, which operates the cancer center. Lazar was tasked with creating opportunities for cancer patients, their families and caregivers to interact in meaningful and creative ways. Valerie knew the girls would excel in this endeavor with both being double majors that are directly related to the scope of the project.
This community project is the first of many creative workshops that will take place in the new Healing Arts Room at the center. Pohlman said that she and Cole created the project based on the initial criteria they were given. The guidelines they received indicated that the project should:
- Incorporate nature
- Become an overall project that individuals can contribute to
- Have individual pieces that can be taken home/brought back
- Be transportable when the combined piece is completed
Together the graduate and student planned the activity. Pohlman came up with the idea of using a tree with the leaves providing the opportunity for individuals to express themselves. Cole came up with the idea to use twigs to affix the leaves to and created the matrix to which they would be attached. From there, the ladies cut out varying leaf shapes on the appropriate paper for the ‘artists’ to use watercolors, acrylics or simply draw their designs on.
This workshop was a great opportunity for Cole to build her resume and for Pohlman to gain experiential learning. Lazar was impressed that the ladies were so hands-on throughout the process and worked side by side with the patients and family members. They were caring, instructive, encouraging and inspired creativity to all of the participants. The laughter and companionship brings everyone in the room together for a momentary escape from reality and enjoy the simple act of healing through art and friendship.
Lazar said that the girls from UF “have been a delight to work with and this project has turned out exceptionally well.” She explained that the final piece is to be donated for auction to Cancer Patient Services at their spring art auction benefit luncheon in 2016.