Home » The Periwinkle Foundation’s Making a Mark®: Children’s art flies off the canvas
October 22, 2008 – Texas Children’s Hospital
by Corbin B.P. Dodge
This year’s Making a Mark® exhibition features whimsical sculptures with moving parts which add a third dimension to the giant canvases.
2008 marks the first year Making a Mark® takes on an international spin. Regine Gaud and Gerard Vissar, artists from Lyon, France, visited Houston to work with children in the cancer Center to create “Things that Fly’ for the annual exhibit, which features art by children touched by cancer and blood disorders.
Making a Mark® is sponsored by The Periwinkle Foundation, a nonprofit organization committed to enriching the lives of children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses at Texas Children’s.
“It’s the 18th year of Making A Mark and the ninth year for a featured artist to create with the kids; however, this is the first time we have had international artists,” said Carol Herron, program coordinator of the Cancer Center’s Arts in Medicine program. “Artwork has been coming in from around the world, and we have approximately 350 submissions this year.”
Gaud, who specializes in painting, helped patients create flying objects from whatever their imagination dictated—including birds, hands, rockets and fantasy creatures.
“The canvases feature children’s drawings that tell a story,” Gaud said. “The result is one large collaboration piece with several panels.”
Vissar also paints, but he helped the children create what he calls moving sculptures, small “action character” machines with moving parts. They are placed among the other artwork.
He made and donated one of these distinct machines, as well as several paintings, to be auctioned at the exhibit, which opened Sunday, October 12, to benefit Making a Mark®.
Two years ago, the artists submitted artwork to Making a Mark® that was created by children at the Centre Leon Berard Hospital in Lyon, and they traveled to Houston to oversee the installation. The hospital, one of France’s largest devoted to cancer, is a sister institution to the Texas Children’s Cancer Center.
At the exhibit, they met the cultural attaché for the French Consulate in Houston, who later spoke with the Texan French Alliance for the Arts (TFAA) about bringing the artists back to Houston to work with Making A Mark.
Impressed by the program, Vissar and Gaud say they were thrilled to return to Texas Children’s on a trip made possible by TFAA and SUEZ Energy North America. The hospital was happy to make the French connection.
“I am very proud to be part of this experience,” Vissar said. “I’ve really enjoyed working with Carol (Herron) and Dr. (David) Poplack.”
Making a Mark® was displayed on the Auxiliary Bridge throughout October. Then, it travels to Hobby Airport and several other locations across the country.
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.