ORANGE PARK – The art of Middleburg High students will live on forever on the ceilings of Orange Park Medical Center’s pediatric ward.Hospitals can be quite scary. That feeling is …
ORANGE PARK – The art of Middleburg High students will live on forever on the ceilings of Orange Park Medical Center’s pediatric ward.
Hospitals can be quite scary. That feeling is heightened when children don’t understand why they’re there. They now can find comfort – and maybe even a smile – when they look up at the ceiling, thanks to art teacher Adam Goodwin’s portfolio class students.
“We’ve been doing this ceiling tile art for a couple of years now,” Goodwin said, explaining how the ceiling tiles in the hallway where his art room is located have been painted by his students for years. “One of the ladies from OPMC came to a freshmen orientation one year and when she saw them, I think she took the idea back to the hospital and then asked us if we could do it for them.”
Goodwin said it was a two-year process, but that the tiles recently were given to OPMC. He said his students at first were reserved, likely nervous about the permanence that comes with a project like this, but once they got into it, “they were really excited about it.” Some of the students and Goodwin presented the art to OPMC. While they couldn’t go in and see their work displayed due to COVID-19 restrictions, they were still able to hear about the excitement from OPMC officials and doctors from the pediatric ward.
“This project warmed our hearts,” Director of Women and Child Services at OPMC Suzanne Jones said. “We know these students have had a challenging year dealing with the pandemic, yet they took the time to do something so special for our patients. It really means a lot to us.”
Goodwin said the students that participated were from his upper-level portfolio class, otherwise known as the honor art students. He said he was extremely proud of them for their work.
“If you ever have to take your own kid to the hospital, you want the kid to feel a little better about going in, because it can be scary, and it’s great that these students were able to do this,” Goodwin said. “I don’t think it’ll be a one-time thing, either, and we’re hoping it’s a yearly thing. It all depends on the hospital really.”
Adrianna Ouzts, 18, is a senior and she painted dolphins and jellyfish on some tiles. She said she was excited to work on tiles with a zoo theme, especially because of how much children generally love zoo animals.
“We presented the art on the school news and then the day we were going to take them to the hospital, they were placed outside the classroom for everyone else to see, and then when we actually took them to the hospital, we couldn’t go in,” Ouzts said. “The people in charge of the hospital and the ward came out and talked to us and thanked us so that was really nice.
“It makes me feel good knowing it’ll provide happiness for children and I think it’s really cool to have an opportunity to paint something for a public place, but even more than that, for children. It warms your heart.”