The Grade 6 class of Strathroy Community Christian School recently donated a large piece of art to the Strathroy Middlesex General Hospital.
The four by six foot art piece now hangs in a room where patients and family-members wait to hear the results of a surgery or test.
“They can be kind of nervous, waiting there,” says principal Marvin Bierling, noting the artwork is intended to offer viewers a ray of hope.
Based on a painting by Tom Thomson, it includes symbols designed by each of the 17 Grade 6 students. The symbols, which are hidden in the painting, relate to the hope theme. Examples include a spoon, horse and small flame of fire.
A notebook accompanies the art, with a short explanation from each of the students about their own symbol’s meaning. Patients and family-members can write their thoughts about the artwork in space provided in the book.
“It’s a beautiful piece,” says Bierling. “The students knew they were giving something great to the hospital.”
Art teacher Peggy Devries dreamed up the idea of creating and donating a painting. Bierling says she wanted to give students the opportunity to give back to their community.
When the idea was put forth at the hospital, CEO Michael Mazza was excited about having a significant piece of art to hang.
“He’s seen the art that the students have done here in the past so he knew they would produce something that was really amazing,” says Bierling.
The hospital helped the students get to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinberg to see the actual painting on which they were basing their work.
Bierling says the students seemed to be excited to give the art to the hospital.
“You could tell they had a real sense of pride to be able to share with the community in that way.”
On June 12 the students made an official presentation of their artwork to the hospital. They were also given a tour of the hospital, which was an “eye-opener” for them as well, says Bierling.
“It was a real neat coming-together of the students and the hospital which is obviously an important part of a small community,” he says.