Art Helps Patients at Texas Children's Hospital

Art serves as an outlet and a distraction for seriously ill children. The Texas Children's Hospital offers art projects to their clinic patients nearly every day. Houston Public Radio's Laurie Johnson has more.

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About a dozen children are gathered around the craft table in the Cancer Clinic at Texas Children's Hospital. Katie Impelman is four years old, although she is quick to point her she'll be five in just a couple weeks. She's has Leukemia and is here for her chemotherapy treatment. While she waits, she's making art.

"It's a bunch of jewels. [Mom] And we decided it's kind of like a rain storm, because it sparkles. [Reporter] It's beautiful. How did you make it? I made a bunch of glue and then I sprinkled jewels all over. [Reporter] And then did you put your name on there? Yeah, I stamped that. I put these foam flowers and then I put the stems in there."

Katie's mom, Mary Impelman, says they come for for regular treatments and it helps to have something like this to make visits to the hospital less tedious and stressful.

"This arts program is great. She loves it when she comes here and there's volunteers to do art projects with her. It's one of her favorite things to do at school and also to do here so she's just so excited. And they do a lot of different things and she enjoys that too, different mediums and things like that."

The Hospital has an Arts and Medicine program for the children, but this particular project is coordinated through the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. MFAH Artist Educator Sandra Jacobs says they teach the children about art and tie each lesson in with current exhibits on display at the museum.

"I love working with the children. And I just feel like I've done something worthwhile because I come here, I show them how to be creative and they get a little time away from the seriousness of their lives and they get to have fun just like you know any other kid would."

Laurie Johnson, Houston Public Radio News.

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