Devereux Pennsylvania CBHS students’ artistic talents on display
Students at Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Pennsylvania’s Children’s Behavioral Health Services (CBHS) are channeling their inner Claude Monet, Georgia O’Keeffe and Jackson Pollock, as they create one-of-a-kind oil and chalk pastels, Styrofoam prints and other artwork.
The artistic talents of youth from Devereux Pennsylvania’s CBHS Brandywine and Mapleton Schools are currently on display on the walls of the CBHS administration building.
“Our youth are producing some truly amazing artwork,” said Devereux Pennsylvania CBHS Executive Director Patricia Hillis-Clark, Psy.D. “We wanted to tap into that talent and replace the existing artwork in our administration building with pieces that represent and showcase the many unique and special gifts of the individuals we serve. Their creations are both impressive and inspiring – and now on display for all see!”
The healing power of art
Nadine Hinton-Davis and Stephanie Pirozzi, art teachers at Devereux Pennsylvania’s CBHS Brandywine and Mapleton Schools, respectively, help youth develop and nurture their artistic skills in their classrooms. For example, in honor of Black History Month in February, Hinton-Davis taught approximately 70 elementary and middle school students how to make torn paper collages depicting prominent figures in black history.
“Each student was assigned a famous figure, such as Duke Ellington or Jesse Jackson,” Hinton-Davis explained. “Working on top of line drawings of that prominent person, the students determined what background colors they needed, and then tore tiny scraps of paper from magazines and glued them to the page.” Hinton-Davis scanned the original artwork and sent a few prints to the administration building for display.
While students are filled with a sense of pride in knowing their masterpieces can be seen by families, employees and community supporters, for them, the true power of art lies in the process of creating the art itself.
“Art has a calming and therapeutic effect on our youth,” Hinton-Davis shared. “The individuals we serve become interested and engaged in the art process, and they love learning new skills and discovering new ways to express themselves through drawing, painting and collaging. Once our students become familiar and comfortable with a project, they can relax and focus on the creative process.”
Sharing messages of hope
At Devereux Pennsylvania’s Children’s Behavioral Health Center (DCBHC) – a children’s psychiatric hospital – youth recently took their artistic talents to new heights by painting colorful images and inspirational messages on ceiling tiles, which now hang in the hospital’s recreation area and group room. The youth worked under the direction of Moses Dixon, a therapeutic program specialist.
“These beautiful tiles act as a canvas for our children and adolescents to share messages of support and encouragement with other individuals receiving treatment, and they provide a healthy and creative outlet for our youth to express their emotions,” said DCBHC Hospital Clinical Director Robyn Radomicki, LCSW. “Art is powerful tool, and whether the individuals we serve are painting ceiling tiles or drawing still life images – the benefits are endless.”
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