Bringing the World to a PaintFest
Usually the Foundation for Hospital Art takes PaintFest® events out to the world. In 2012, we painted in South Africa, Korea, Japan, Cuba, and Germany, while sending colorful artwork to 23 countries. However, here in Hoboken, it feels like we’re bringing the world to our PaintFest. We paint every other month at the Hoboken University Medical Center, and our volunteers come from an amazingly diverse background.
The following are some impressions from our newcomers and “veterans” at this month’s PaintFest as well as where they’re from. They describe why they like to volunteer with us and what is special about painting in hospitals.
Jackie – from Scotland
”I first saw some of these paintings in the hospital while donating toys for the children one Christmas. When my daughter and I painted for the first time, we felt such joy. It was nice to bring happiness to others and to put a smile on someone else’s face. This past December while bringing toys again, we even saw one of the painting we had done on the wall.”
Daphne – Taiwan
“I like to volunteer in any way I can. I’ve never really painted before, but this is fun. I think the volunteer often gets more out of it than the recipient. We are fortunate to have good jobs, and it’s time to give back.”
Shehnaz – India
“My neighbors, Junko and Win, invited me to paint in their apartment and then here at the hospital. I find it very therapeutic. It’s a great way to get together with friends and socialize too.”
Jyoti – England
“Although I’m of Indian descent, I’m a London girl, and my parents lived in Kenya. I’ve painted a few times now, and I really enjoy the fact that it’s just a couple of hours on a regular schedule so it’s not a huge commitment. I’m glad I don’t need to be an artist to do this . . . I feel like a kid again! I love that you get instant gratification from it too; you can actually see the results of your work after just a couple of hours. It makes you want to do it all over again next time.”
Ripal – India
“I participate in many 5k runs, and I like supporting my friends and their causes. Shehnaz recruited me for this PaintFest. I didn’t know what to expect, and I was a little worried about my skills…or lack thereof. However, this really is easy, and it’s like therapy. It’s nice being with friends, and it’s a great way to spend a Saturday morning!”
Nancy – South Korea
“I find this very relaxing. I have a stressful job so it’s nice to focus on something fun.”
Katherine – Hong Kong
“I actually have a degree in fine arts, but this is so much fun. It’s a great community service activity for kids, and it’s an easy way to teach them lessons of giving back.”
We all come from different places and backgrounds, but we all share one goal: to open our hearts and comfort people in their time of need.
It was funny how similar my conversations with all these different people ended up being. Everyone felt compelled to give back to the community, all were relieved at how easy it was to paint the canvases, and every single person said they felt relaxed . . . it truly is art therapy!
Next time please join us…we welcome you…wherever in the world you are!