This week, on the first floor of Child Guidance Resource Center’s headquarters in Havertown, PA, three senior high school students are painting a mural. Demi Karalis, Abby Severino and Devon Winterbottom, Marple Newtown High School seniors, were connected with Child Guidance Resource Centers for their senior project. Child Guidance is dedicated to making their offices as therapeutically beneficial and aesthetically pleasing and was excited to find students interested in helping achieve these goals.There has been extensive research showing the therapeutic value of art for healing in various healthcare settings. Carefully chosen, shapes, colors and atmosphere created by murals and paintings are beneficial for patients. They can be stimulating, soothing or inspiring. Art can be used as a way for children to become more familiar with colors and shapes and can also be beneficial to engage children struggling with anger, anxiety, or other behavioral difficulties. Murals and engaging artwork not only creates a more pleasant environment, but can also help people locate themselves and feel more comfortable in a space.
Demi and Abby are no strangers to beautifying buildings with their artwork; they recently completed murals at local elementary schools and chose Child Guidance as the artistic culmination of their senior year. All three students are incredibly artistic and passionate about their work.
They have created the mural from start to finish, from beginning brainstorming to sketching to design to the painting. After learning about Child Guidance and the children and families we serve they knew they wanted to create a mural that would bring feelings of hope, dreams and wishes. On one side of the mural, they painted a girl blowing a dandelion that turns into a wave of bright animals, on the other side, a boy does the same. The students wanted to paint something that would bring smiles to the children’s faces. As Abby said, “Who doesn’t wish on dandelions when they’re little?” Demi nodded in agreement, “And then those wishes turn into things that are fun and bright, like the butterflies and things we painted!”
When asked about their experience volunteering at Child Guidance, Devon said, “This is an awesome experience. We get to interact with the kids and see how excited they get.”
Abby responded, “It’s all about how the kids interact with the art. It’s really their mural. They come here all the time, so we want them to love it. We have even had some of the kids paint their own butterflies and things so that the painting can be part of them too. So they can walk down the hall and be like, “There’s my butterfly!”
The students have used their artistic passion to create an inspirational, bright and beautiful addition to our outpatient office. The children who see the mural as it’s close to completion are excited by it. We thank Demi, Abby and Devon for bringing their talent to Child Guidance and creating such a beautiful and therapeutically beneficial mural for children and families to enjoy for years to come.