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  montgomery blair high school  fine arts  department

Youth Art For Healing - reception at Medstar Montgomery Medical Center -- April 24, 2014

Based in Bethesda, Maryland, Youth Art For Healing (YAFH) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to bring works of art created by youth into healthcare environments to provide a sense of comfort, inspiration and healing for patients and their loved ones, and healthcare professionals.

Twelve paintings of MBHS Visual Arts students were represented in the Youth Art For Healing display at Medstar Montgomery Medical Center. At a reception held in the evening on April 24th, We had a lot of fun, the kids looked great, spoke well, and smiled beautifully for pictures. Blair was very well represented. Our 12 paintings were well spoken of. We were chosen to read our collaborative artist statement during the ceremony and chosen to speak to a reporter from the Gazette newspaper and pose for pictures. To end the night we learned that Blairís group photo and an excerpt from our artist statement are featured on the new YAFH donor card that was unveiled at the reception. It was an exciting evening and we are so extremely proud of the students throughout this entire process. Below are links to a few videos from the ceremony, followed by our artist statement. Unfortunately not all the students were able to attend, but the ones who were there certainly shone.

Welcoming remarks of the Medstar President and Vice President

Remarks of Jan Papirmeister from Youth Art For Healing

Blair student Antares Chen reading the class artist statement

High school students provide art with heart to MedStar Montgomery
newspaper article in The Gazette, April 30, 2014
(all the student quotes are from Blair students and
three of the five pictures are of Blair students)

Our artist statement:

While it was daunting when we saw the five almost mural size canvases with boxes and boxes of acrylic paint, we still had a sense of great enthusiasm. We did not quite know what was going to happen, but whatever it was it was going to be big. It certainly was. For many of us, Montgomery Blairís National Arts Honor Society members, this was our first time undertaking a charitable art project and it motivated us to work harder knowing that with each stroke, we were that much closer to helping patients ďheal". By the time we all finished our paintings, we truly believed in the therapeutic qualities of art because we felt it every day. Besides the copious amounts of dirty palettes that now need to be scrubbed, each class period we would see canvases scattered about the room. Each used vibrant colors to depict panoramic views of meadows, grasslands, and flowerbeds, while other paintings got up close and personal with songbirds and gardens. Perhaps the thermostat was a tad too high even for winter, but it honestly felt as if we were having class outside each day.

This was a learning experience in not only artistic skills, but also interpersonal skills. Unless one is in an extracurricular art activity, collaborative art projects in classes on or above High School level are usually unheard of. Thus it was very peculiar (albeit relieving) when we learned that most canvases were going to be assigned 2-3 painters. We got to experience firsthand the difficulties of blending draft ideas, synchronizing color choices, and ensuring style consistency. The only way that we were to solve these problems was by communication, even if it means barraging your partner with panic-filled texts about the prospect of not finishing.

With this project, many of us found a new reason to pursue the arts; it is not just about relaxing after a busy day neither is it expressing our own sentiments, it is about using our artistic ability to bring a positive influence to our community. We hope that these paintings will invoke the same sentiments for viewers as it did for us.

Montgomery Blair High School
National Art Honor Society

Click here to see all the artwork that was given to Medstar Montgomery Medical Center. Artwork was given from students of four schools: Clarksburg High School, Poolesville High School, Montgomery Blair High School, and Walt Whitman High School. The default is for the page to show the artworks from all four schools. If you want to see just those from MBHS, click on "Montgomery Blair High School" in the header.

Our artists at the reception