VALLEY STREAM, NY - Students from Baldwin High School’s Art Honor Society took on a heartfelt assignment this past semester painting ‘calming’ murals for Long Island Jewish Valley Stream's hospice. The murals were presented during a ceremony held recently at the hospital.
“I think it was important because we were doing it for people who needed it. So it felt extra good, we did it with a lot of love,” said Kira Genovese, who contributed her painting ‘Shakespeare on the Beach.’
While the teens were recognized for their artistic contribution to the hospital, their empathy was also noted by community members and hospital staff.
“These students have a lot of compassion,” said Tywanna James-Rouse, nurse manager for the hospice unit. “Some adults don’t even know what compassion means. So for them to know what it means and to translate it into art is a very special thing.”
It was more than just a painting lesson for the students, some could identify closely with what hospice means.
“It was really important and personal for me,” said Sage Fortune, whose painting is entitled; ‘Cherry Blossoms’. “My grandmother was in my house before she was in hospice so I know what it’s like to be around people who are going through a really rough time. Everyone reacts to it differently and I just kind of thought of my grandma.”
The murals will be displayed in the hospice unit permanently. They’ll exist as a tangible reminder of the teens who painted them for the patients.
“We tried our hardest to paint really good pictures. I think the people will really be happy with what we painted for them,” said Cameron Green, whose painting is entitled ‘Wonderland.’
Steve Bello, the hospital’s executive director, said the hospital and school have a longstanding relationship. “It’s a culmination of several years of collaboration that we’ve had with Baldwin Schools. I think it’s a nice lasting legacy representing that collaboration and something we’ll look to expand upon in the future.”