Mural brightens WMC kids area

Posted: July 13, 2013

The Winchester Star

BELOW: Handley art students Sarah Carlton (front), Erika Vianey Arias (left rear) and Adriana Arias work on the mural on Friday.
RIGHT: Handley High School art student Mirella Aguirre paints a sheep that is part of a mural she, a teacher and other student volunteers completed in the pediatrics room at Winchester Medical Center.
Handley High School art student Erika Vianey Arias loads her brush on Friday morning while taking part in a volunteer project to paint a mural in the pediatrics treatment room at Winchester Medical Center. (Photo by Scott Mason/The Winchester Star)

WINCHESTER

Four Handley High School students did their part this week to make young patients feel more comfortable at Winchester Medical Center.

Graduate Erika Vianey Arias, senior Adriana Arias, junior Mirella Aguirre and sophomore Sarah Carlton — with the help of art teacher Elizabeth Scholder — spent the week painting a mural on the walls of the pediatric treatment room, where children 5 and younger have vaccinations, intravenous drips and blood work.

Tanya Armstrong, child life coordinator, said the mural will provide distraction and relaxation for children as they undergo the medical procedures. “It just makes it more child-friendly.”

The mural depicts a field with a pond, and animals and children playing in the grass. Birds chirp in the trees, frogs squat in the grass and dogs and cats play with toys.

“It hits a nice spot at home,” Erika said. “I have a younger nephew in the hospital. I wish they did something like this for him.”

Scholder and Mirella spent more than three hours drawing the scene. And with the rest of the group — using acrylic paint — they spent about 15 hours filling in the shapes with color.

Scholder got the idea from children’s books and chose to draw animals and scenery because children connect with things they know.

Adriana spent Friday painting butterflies and blue clouds. “Kids that come here are really little, and I know they don’t want to come here and see a blank wall.”

Sarah said painting the mural was a learning experience — one which she was excited to be a part of.

“I’ve never done anything out in the community other than in Handley,” she said.

— Contact Rebecca Layne atrlayne@winchesterstar.com