Art for kids, by kids

Art for kids, by kids

If you’ve visited Children’s Hospital New Orleans lately, then you probably noticed the colorful and vibrant paper flowers and butterflies that adorn the walls of the skybridge and second floor of the Lauricella Pavilion.

Thanks to the help of two carnival artists and the youngsters who attended the 2019 Jazz and Heritage Festival, over a thousand petals were painted by kids, for kids!  

Those petals were then constructed into large flowers and placed throughout the bridge level entrance of Children’s Hospital as a very special art installation. The message behind this project is to help teach kids that they, too, can be a part of a large collaborative project.

It was the third year that this project was put on by artists Dana Beuhler and Caroline Thomas to bring awareness to carnival arts and to teach kids how to give back to their community.

“For me, one of the reasons why I work in Mardi Gras as a profession, is I like being a part of the community,” says artist Caroline Thomas. “I’m not this genius artist up in a tower…I like to meet people along the way and to be inspired by people along the way.”

The two artists, along with Julie Connelly, coordinator of the Arts in Healthcare program at Children’s Hospital, believe in the healing power of art and in the exciting new research that shows how humanizing healthcare space improves healthy outcomes.

 “Children’s Hospital New Orleans and the Arts in Healthcare program are so thankful to Jazzfest and the artists involved for helping us create a more welcoming and joyful environment,” says Julie Connelly, “The hospital can sometimes be a scary place for children and their families. Art can be the connection between our hospital and our community, and thankfully New Orleans is rather creative!”

The technique used to paint the flower petals also helps kids learn about how Mardi Gras decorations are made for various floats during Carnival season.

Next time you visit Children’s Hospital, be sure to check out this inspirational installation and enjoy this wonderful gift of art and community!