Operation Art is launched at the Children?s Ward at Grafton Base Hospital. Pictured are Joshua Sin- clair, 6, his sister Taylor
Operation Art is launched at the Children?s Ward at Grafton Base Hospital. Pictured are Joshua Sin- clair, 6, his sister Taylor

Operation Art: helping sick kids to feel better

By JULIA ILES

CHILDREN in the paediatric ward of the Grafton Base Hospital will have their days brightened by 10 colourful artworks donated by Operation Art yesterday.

The pieces were created by children as young as five who were asked to create a picture that would make them feel happy, Operation Art executive officer Fiona Steele said.

"Some of the kids entered the competition with pictures of their dogs or of them playing with building blocks and there is a huge variety," she said.

Joshua Sinclair from South Grafton Public School was only six years old when he painted 'I Love Building Things'.

"I am building a house with a dock next to it with a house roof on top. I love building things. It makes me happy," he said of his painting.

Each year Operation Art receives hundreds of entries from school students. Last year they received 680 while 50 were selected for a travelling exhibition.

Currently the winning entries are on show at the Grafton Regional Gallery, in the Operation Art's Nelson Meers Foun- dation 2006 Touring Exhibition.

It's official opening is on the March 17 and will be at the gallery until April 2.

The pieces given to the hospital were winners from previous years.

Operation Art, which has run for 10 years, came out of a study by Westmead Hospital in Sydney, which found that art could contribute positively to a healing environment.

In addition a workshop for Years 3 and 4 was held at the Grafton Regional Gallery.

"Four children from each school in the district, who were the best at art or who had an interest in it, were invited to join us for the Operation Art gallery workshops," Ms Steele said.

"It is for those students who are good at art to have a chance to work with different mediums like wire sculpture and painting with food dye."

The theme of the workshop was 'fish' due to Grafton's proximity to the river.

"The workshop was so much fun and it was great to see so many smiling happy kids. They have probably never worked so hard in their lives," she said.

Tomorrow a workshop will be held for senior primary students.



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