Home » Kids art exhibit makes a mark in Katy
April 16, 2010 – The Katy Sun
by Hala Aboudaher
Seven-year-old Emma Woodle has a message for the disease she is battling.
“Leukemia stinks, but I am kicking its hiney!”
Those words are printed on a plaque under her painting “Sea Beauty,” and it represents the vision of the Making a Mark® art exhibit: There is hope when dealing with cancer.
Established by Texas Children’s Cancer Center and Hermatology Service and the Periwinkle Foundation, Making a Mark® features the art of children affected by cancer and blood disorders.
“These programs for us are all about hope,” said Mary Beth Staine, executive director for The Periwinkle foundation.
“With the art program, what it does, in addition to impacting the families and the kiddos, it impacts the community at large. It raises awareness about how many kids are actually diagnosed with cancer.”
The Katy Visual and Performing Arts Center has also partnered with Texas Children’s Cancer Center and Hermatology Service and the Periwinkle Foundation to bring the exhibit to Katy and bring the arts to kids touched by cancer and blood disorders.
Kristin Miller, KVPAC’s community and outreach director and Books Alive! coordinator, started With All your Art and A Wish Your Art Makes, taking art performance and instruction to children in the hospital.
“I am a mother of six myself and I just know how much it really means to them (the kids) just to have the distraction from what’s going on,” she said.
“We always tell our artists how serious their job is when they go in because some kids aren’t going home. The art leaves a legacy for their parents to keep, something to remember them by or last moments of their life, and they will have them forever.”
This rings true for Suzie James.
James was at the opening of the Making a Mark® Exhibit at La Centerra where her son Cameron’s work “Cameron’s Starry Night” is on display.
She stood proudly by his painting, tears coming to her eyes as she talked about him and his work.
Beneath the painting on a plaque she had written, “This was the last piece of art Cameron painted during his life on earth. As I think back to that time in June 2005, I realize now that his painting seems to illustrate what was going on in our family’s life. It was definitely a terrible dark time, yet Cameron remained a bright shining star to us and the world around him.”
For her it is a memory that won’t fade.
This year is the 19th for the Making a Mark® exhibit, which opens every September in conjunction with Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and then travels around to different venues for a year.
“The art show is not a fundraiser. It’s an opportunity for kids to express themselves and feel good about the art they create, and to feel like kids first and not patients,” said Carol Herron arts in medicine coordinator for the Texas Children’s Cancer Center.
“It is just such a good public awareness tool, to show people and tell people, that yes these kids are facing cancer, and their brothers and sisters are facing these challenges, but they are kids first.”
The Making a Markv exhibit will be on display at La Centerra from April 14 to the 28 and then will move to KVPAC to go on display there from April 29 to May 21.
This article reprinted with permission. For more information visit The Katy Sun
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.