by Fae Lobron
Imagine walking into a museum and seeing artwork made by children alongside artwork made by professional artists. This is what happens every fall during the KidsCare exhibit at Woodmere Art Museum.
KidsCare is a collaboration between Woodmere Art Museum, WXPN’s Kids Corner, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, and about 20 Philadelphia area public and private schools. Project Learn School (PLS) in Mt. Airy has been participating in KidsCare since it began, and has only missed one year in 20 years.
At Project Learn, everyone in the school participates in making art, and the school has mixed-age students working together so younger students can spend time with the older students.
Every year there is a theme that art projects are designed around. This year’s theme is based on the artist Peter Paone, whose paintings and drawings are currently on display at the museum. Joan Fox, art teacher at Project Learn, found Paone’s flower paintings the most interesting aspect of his art, so flowers became the theme for this year’s projects. Each student made two ceramic flowers – one to keep for themselves and the other to give away. The flowers are then painted and glued to wire to create flower gardens.
The art projects are displayed at Woodmere and then taken to St Christopher’s Hospital for Children where they are given to sick children during the winter holidays. The hope is to give them something exciting and cheerful for their room and to make sure they know someone is thinking about them.
“Art can be healing and a powerful way to make people’s lives brighter,” Fox said.
She also believes it is good for Project Learn students to make art and give it away, and to be generous to others.
Project Learn became involved in KidsCare because a former school parent, Meri Adleman, happened to be part of Woodmere’s program, and she asked if the school would participate.
Nadja Oberman-Anderson, a PLS student, said she could “only imagine the smile on the children’s’ faces as they get their art presents.”
KidsCare art projects will be on display at Woodmere Art Museum until Dec. 15.
Fae Lobron, of Chestnut Hill, is a sixth-grade student at Project Learn School.