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14
Summer 2008
Student artists at William Woods University are bringing color and
life to the walls of Jefferson City’s new Creektrail Clinics, which
operate as part of St. Mary’s Health Center.
Knowing that Terry Martin, WWU professor of art, is a proponent
of “healing art,” an employee of St. Mary’s contacted him to
see whether his students would produce paintings to brighten
the examination rooms at Creektrail Clinics.
St. Mary’s Health Center is a non-proft, mission-based hospital.
Spending almost $4 million on charity care a year, the hospital’s
budget goes almost exclusively to clinical care, so there is little
funding for aesthetic improvements.
A strong believer in the power of art, Martin asked students in
his painting I and II classes to create unique pieces of art for the
Clinic as part of The Woods’ service-learning program. Service-
learning utilizes community service to help students gain a
deeper understanding of course content, acquire new knowl-
edge and engage in civic activity.
In starting this project, Martin and his class viewed interior and
exterior slides of the clinic. Inspired by the calming themes and
colors in nature, students identifed Georgia O’Keefe as the
perfect artist to emulate for this project.
“Because of the opportunity to study Georgia O’Keefe,” Martin
said, “students were able to apply the pleasing psychological
effect her art has on people.”
Dianne Lowry and Sheila Libbert came to campus in November
to receive the paintings, meet the student artists and present
them with Guardian Angel pins as a token of thanks.
Lowry, a WWU alumna, is the development and foundation co-
ordinator of St. Mary’s Health Center. Libbert serves as manager of
St. Mary’s Creektrail Clinics. Both are thankful for the gift of artwork
and feel that it will greatly beneft the patients.
“I could not be more delighted to have this relationship with Wil-
liam Woods,” Lowry said. “Art created by students, with our mission
in mind, is so meaningful. Art is the universal language. If you have
a patient that has a language or cultural barrier, art can immedi-
ately relax them. Art is a spiritual expression, beauty and color can
be very calming and translate into any language.”
Katherine Goodman, one of the student artists and a senior in
equine administration from Kingwood, Texas, agrees. “Art brings
personality to a room. I think the art that we did will make the
clinic more inviting.”
Kelly Trustee is proud that her art piece has a purpose. “This proj-
ect gave us experience with painting, but the end result also goes
to help a greater cause,” the senior graphic design major from
Huntsville, Mo., said. “Having our work on public display in a clinic
is a great honor; I just hope that it brings some joy and hope to
those who need it.”
Martin is pleased with how the paintings turned out. “The effort
of the students was remarkable,” he said. “They exceeded my
expectation.”
Corey Blackburn is a junior from Fulton, majoring in education with
an art concentration said, “Good art allows a person to express
feelings without saying a word. Some of these pieces will bring a
calming,
comforting feeling to the patients. Others that are more vibrant
paintings will exude an invigorating feeling…hopefully brightening
their day when they don’t feel well.”
She added, “I hope our paintings exhibit a feeling of hope to the
patients that come in, a hope that even though they may be sick,
things will get better.”
WWU Student Paintings Brighten Creektrail Clinics
By Tara Boehl ’09