A love of ceramics and a strong desire to help a hospital that once helped our children, my husband Paul & I joined the Art for Life family as program directors in 2003 and have brought the Ceramics and Kids Program to UCSF Benioff Oakland Children's Hospital monthly for over 10 years.
Cats and Dogs, Hippos and Alligators, Mermaids and dinosaurs... with each month there is a new theme and a new inspiration.
The excitement children have when painting, it's amazing. This program provides an opportunity for children to express themselves creatively and a sense of control over their world and environment. It is an opportunity to heal both emotionally and physically through therapeutic play.
Children who participate in the program each month are hospitalized for many health reasons including severe trauma and life-threatening illnesses and yet when it is 'Art for Life ' time in the schoolroom, the children are relaxed and happily engaged. Each visit brings an art project to as many as 50 children from every level of the hospital including ICU, IPU and even bedside participants join in and create art, making it one of the most successful ongoing arts programs at Children's Hospital in Oakland.