Home » Artwork of children with cancer brightens ACC campus
Senior Graphics Designer Joyce McMillan thought of young artists when she needed colorful designs to create inspirational banners for the Alvin Community College main campus
November 11, 2009 – Alvin Community College
by Kim Strube
It’s been said that with the heart of a child, any problem can be faced with wisdom, strength and love.
So, when Alvin Community College Senior Graphics Designer Joyce McMillan needed colorful designs to create inspirational banners for the main campus, she immediately thought of very special young artists.
“I could’ve picked any graphic for the project, but I wanted something that had meaning,” McMillan expressed.
As a cancer survivor herself, she immediately thought of the Texas Children’s Cancer Center in Houston.
Not knowing about The Periwinkle Foundation at the time, McMillan said, “Finally, I got a hold of Carol (Herron) and asked if they had any artwork the college could use.”
Through the Arts & Creative Writing Program offered by The Periwinkle Foundation, thousands of children undergoing treatment at the Texas Children’s Cancer Center are given the opportunity to express themselves with painting, drawing, writing and other forms each year.
“This project was a new opportunity for us,” stated Herron, Arts in Medicine Program Coordinator at the Texas Children’s Cancer Center. “No one has made banners like this with our artwork.”
“Both Texas Children’s Cancer Center and The Periwinkle Foundation love them…we wonder why we didn’t think of it first!” she added.
McMillan chose four paintings that fit a theme of “Live, Grow, Dream and Excel.” The artwork came from children who live in Pearland, Humble and Peru.
“I just fell in love with them,” she stated. “To me, anyone who has cancer is dear to my heart and because they’re children, the simplicity of their art is so meaningful – especially for what they are going through…they are expressing themselves in a way that is very touching.”
“I think the public needs to see that they’re regular children,” she continued. “Just because they have this disease doesn’t mean they’re not creative.”
Programs offered through The Periwinkle Foundation are designed to help Texas Children’s Cancer Center patients and their families “heal emotionally, lead fuller lives and become stronger survivors.”
“When our kids, patients and siblings create art, they are expressing themselves, making choices about what they want to say and how they want to say it,” Herron said. “They are also experimenting and learning through the process of creating art.”
“Our kids are amazing not just as artists but as examples of how to embrace life,” she added. “They run into the clinic everyday excited about what art project they may get to do or what visiting artists they might get to meet. They inspire me.”
Renowned for its innovative treatment and research – and considered the “largest freestanding pediatric facility in the United States,” Texas Children’s Cancer Center is a part of the Baylor College of Medicine’s Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center.
The Periwinkle Foundation develops and provides programs that positively change the lives of children, young adults and families who are challenged by cancer and other life threatening illnesses and are cared for at Texas Children’s Hospital.
Each year more than 4,000 children are touched by Periwinkle programs Camp Periwinkle, Camp YOLO, Family Camp, the Long Term Survivor Program and the Arts & Creative Writing Program which culminates each year in a traveling exhibition of art by children touched by cancer and blood disorders. Through camping, recreational and arts programming, The Periwinkle Foundation provides opportunities for these special children and their families to heal emotionally, lead fuller lives and become stronger survivors. With the generous help of our friends and supporters in the community, The Periwinkle Foundation changes lives for life. Learn more at www.periwinklefoundation.org.