Saturday, December 7, 2002

Student art decorates wall

Wyoming class' assignments are displayed

By Anna Guido
Enquirer contributor

[photo] Nurse Lora Kordish pushes Larregsha Lucas past some of the 32 photographs by art students of Wyoming High School.
(Tony Jones photos)
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On a blank construction wall in the emergency department at Children's Hospital Medical Center are coloring book pictures of Scooby Doo, Barbie and SpongeBob.

Around the corner, on another construction wall, are 32 color photographs created by 15 students in the advanced photography class at Wyoming High School.

Their assignment, from teacher Alison Youkilis, was to take pictures of flowers. Their reaction, after learning their photos would be displayed somewhere other than school?

"Wow, they really want our pictures?" said Tess Loper, a sophomore.

Hanging the photos in a hallway passed frequently by patients and hospital staff was the brainchild of Dr. Richard Ruddy, director of the hospital's emergency department.

[photo] Rich Ruddy, director of emergency medicine and Carolyn Jackson, clinical director of emergency medicine, look at the photographs.
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"I thought it would be neat for kids to see the photos while they're being wheeled around, getting stitches or getting bones fixed," Dr. Ruddy said.

The photos went up about two weeks ago and are expected to come down along with the wall next week. Emergency room staff are voting for their favorites and donating money for cash awards.

The top vote-getters will be displayed elsewhere in the ERdepartment for a short time, Dr. Ruddy said.

Regardless of how her photos rank, Tess said she was glad for the opportunity. "It makes me feel like my artwork is actually of some use and important," she said.

CHMC, ranked by U.S. News & World News as one of the top 10 pediatric medical centers in the United States, is completing a $155 million construction project that started four years ago.

A new eight-story patient care tower, expanded research labs, an education center, and a bigger parking garage were all part of the project. Among the finer touches is new permanent artwork throughout the facility.

Dr. Ruddy said he wants to make the art display an annual event "dedicated to the kids in Cincinnati" and include schools from throughout the area.

"It was a good idea - wanting to add some beauty to the hospital at a time when they had some pretty white walls," said Ms. Youkilis, who has taught at Wyoming for 29 years.

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