What Makes You Happy?

MOCA Jacksonville and Art With a Heart in Healthcare exhibit special silhouettes 

ahh1608-2451Over a hundred and sixty people gathered for the opening reception of Inside The Outline at MOCA Jacksonville in August. The exhibit consists of silhouettes of twenty-six patients at Wolfson and Nemours Children’s Speciality Care. Art With a Heart in Healthcare (AWAHIH) asked each patient, “What makes you happy?” Then, to answer this question, AWAHIH artists aided patients in sketching their silhouettes onto canvas and then filling them with images of just that – what makes them happy. MOCA intern Sara Travostino talked with patient-artist Robin Price about the experience of creating her Inside The Outline piece titled My Crazy Imagination.
robin-price-portraitMaking art in the hospital helped Robin Price focus on “good things to come” 
By Sara Travostino

Robin Price enjoys the same things most 15-year-olds do: cartoons, food, fashion, and anything that deals with creativity. Her imagination became a great source of strength during a long stay at the hospital. That’s where she became involved with AWAHIH, a nonprofit that provides personalized fine art experiences to enhance the healing process for patients and families at Wolfson Children’s Hospital and Nemours Children’s Specialty Care. Patients in the program, sponsored by First Tennessee Foundation, partner with artists-in-residence who bring out their natural talents and expand their art-making skills while promoting self-confidence and self-awareness during their hospital experience.

What made you want to participate in AWAHIH?
It seemed like it could be a distraction from the long hospitalization I was having at the time. What is it like working with the artists-in-residence? It was fun working with all of them, really. Some were laid-back, and others were more energetic. Working with these different personalities with their different art styles was amazing! I never felt like I was drawing in a boring classroom with them but in a fun and comfortable environment.

What are your favorite things about AWAHIH? 
They give you free art supplies! I’ve been drawing since elementary school, and I noticed that when it comes to being an artist, it’s not cheap! The artists that are there to draw or paint with the kids are so nice; that makes drawing feel even better when you have cool people around you who have the same interest. The last thing is that they are there in the hospital, and you don’t have to travel to them. If Art with a Heart was not there in the hospital, my long stay at Wolfson probably would’ve made me think less about all the good things to come after the stay and more about the horrible things going on at the time.

What art supplies do you like to use?
I use anything I can get my hands on! Though if I had to choose favorites, it would be: Faber-Castell ink pens, Pigma Micron ink pens, Copic markers, really good mechanical pencils, huge erasers, putty erasers, and marker/colored pencil blenders. Plus, I like to carry a small sketch book with me when I can.

Do you have a favorite artist? 
Not to sound conceited or anything, but it would be myself at the moment. I just can’t pick a favorite yet because I’m still exploring different art and different styles.

How do you feel when you’re creating art?
When I’m creating art, I’m a bubbling cauldron of emotions; reason being is that I want to take my art always to another level. So I’ll feel happy one moment, then in a snap I would want to know what exactly am I actually drawing! I’ll be thinking I’m doing great then … wham! Art block happens, then the emotions begin to rise and bubble. Crazy thing is at the end of it all, I’ll be happy I finished, and almost always love the finished product.

What is your favorite project you’ve done with AWAHIH?robin-price-silhouette-photograph-600robin-price-silhouette-painting
The one that is being displayed in MOCA because it was one of the most fun projects that I’ve done. Do you ever work on art projects on your own? Yes. I draw almost every day, or anytime that I can. I draw everything really, but I love to draw doodle compilations or people. Mainly cartoon or animated characters, if I choose to draw people.

Have you learned any art techniques you did not know before participating in AWAHIH? 
Yes, I have. I learned how to draw a person sleeping and how acrylic paint makes everything look a thousand times better (sometimes).

What do you think about your work being on display in MOCA Jacksonville? Have you or your family seen your work in the exhibition?
I’m so happy I could burst! I’m also very grateful for this opportunity. Some of my family have seen it, but not all of them; and yes, I have. How do you want others to feel when they look at your artwork? I want them to feel happy and develop more intricate feelings while they continue to observe it, picking out new findings as their eyes travel and explore my artwork.

Inside The Outline is on display through December 4 in the Florida Blue Educational Gallery at MOCA Jacksonville, 333 N. Laura St., 366-6911.

Author: Arbus

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