A vibrant new mural is drawing attention to the services offered at the Emily Cooper Welty Expressive Therapy Center for patients and their families.
The project also gave artist Julienne Hogarth and her students from Firestone Community Learning Center the chance to give back to Akron Children’s Hospital and the center that provides holistic healing through the use of creative arts.
Hogarth said she learned about the center last summer while on a hospital tour because of her husband’s support of the River of Life Fund. The fund supports families coping with the extreme financial stress of caring for a child with a complex, chronic or serious medical condition and assists with urgent expenses to allow families to stay at their child’s bedside during a catastrophic illness.
During the tour, the center’s staff mentioned their wish for a mural, which led Hogarth to submit her idea. She also offered to donate her artist’s fee to the River of Life Fund.
“We love it,” said Julie Mohney, the center’s office coordinator. “It’s such a nice entry into the center. It’s just what it needed.”
Six students assisted Hogarth, who was influenced by Huichol yarn art from Mexico in her design. Featuring a palette of bright green, blue, purple, orange and yellow, the mural includes animals, plants, a shining sun and trees, which Hogarth said depicts how creative therapy can help an individual grow.
“It’s something to inspire them,” said Hogarth, a veteran of several community art projects and a previous First Night Akron button artist.
Her students were thrilled to have the opportunity to be part of the project.
“This is fun,” said Sena Ozdemir, a senior from West Akron. “I’m getting to be with friends and my favorite teacher and paint the walls.”