Mosaics: Patient work worthy of the PICU

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Alonzo Montgomer

Honora Martin, ‘23, works alongside artist Suzanne Fisher to put together one of the 10 inch mosaics. Martin uses Art Club as an outlet for her creativity, and she appreciates the chance to use art to make others feel better.

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital has put out a call to 12 of Cincinnati’s finest artists.

Children’s is building a new Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, or PICU, for kids with conditions that require around-the-clock care.

They want to have art in the rooms to help the kids feel better and give them hope.

The hospital is decorated from top to bottom with different types of art. Whether it’s pictures that ask to find hidden objects or statues of orange armadillos and purple caterpillars, the playful art brings a little joy to the faces of the patients there.

To continue this artistic initiative, Children’s called together local artists of Cincinnati to help decorate the PICU. One artist is Suzanne Fischer.

Fischer is a self-described “mixed media painter and mosaic muralist.” Fischer has enlisted the help from art teacher Kim Watling’s students and the WHHS Art Club. She has teamed up with Watling’s students before.

Together, they created the mosaic mural outside Watling’s room near the Triangle Courtyard called “Where Eagles Dare to Fly,” which was funded by the alumni class of 1995.

The current project is called “Kaleidoscope.” The art is based off of the the “children’s toy with a little pieces of broken glass that have mirrors inside, and when you turn it and you see lots of beautiful colors and patterns,” Fischer said.

She has created one design that will go inside three circles of varying sizes. One is 10 inches, the second is 14 inches and the third is 20 inches.

Each circle will focus on a part of the original design, and will simulate the different patterns one would see when they turn a kaleidoscope. As the circles get bigger they will focus on other parts of the design.

Children’s Hospital has certain guidelines as to what the art can contain. These guidelines were shared with the artists so that they wouldn’t depict anything they weren’t supposed to. That is when Fischer came up with the idea of using of magical landscapes.

“I figured that children and parents that are dealing with a critical illness needed a place to sort of escape. So these are like little worlds, outside of whatever they’re dealing with,” Fischer said.

Hospitals can be a hard place to be for many kids, so if the comfort and beauty of art may help them do better, then it makes me feel good”

— Honora Martin, '23

Mosaics take a lot of work and patience to put together. However, the artists have another name for assembling mosaics: “Art Surgery.”

In fact, the word mosaic “comes from the Greek word meaning ‘patient work worthy of the Muses,’” Fischer said.

The artists are providing a little bit of happiness into the lives of sick children and their families.

“Just knowing that children who are in bad situations and who are there for unfortunate reasons are to be able to view and admire and have your art make them happy and just brighten up their situation,” SENIOR Ashley Veldhaus said, expressing how she felt about getting to be a part of the project as an Art Club member.

This project has a special meaning to other students, including Honora Martin, ‘23.

Martin said that she likes being a part of the project because “hospitals can be a hard place to be for many kids, so if the comfort and beauty of art may help them do better, then it makes me feel good.”

The WHHS Art Club has been doing many incredible things in the school this year, such as tackling vandalism in the school’s bathroom.

Now, alongside other students and local artists, they are spending time doing something good for others in surrounding communities.