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Hospital to hang kids’ art

WVU Medicine Children’s has partnered with the West Virginia Tourism Office to seek out artwork from West Virginia children to include in the new Children’s Hospital.

The artwork will be collected through a contest sponsored by Panhandle Cleaning and Restoration.

Chief Operating Officer for WVU Medicine Children’s Amy Bush said 20 winning pieces will be selected from the submissions, and the winning pieces will be placed in various locations within the new hospital.

“Art supports health. It can help reduce stress, it can help elevate someone’s mood, kind of give a sense of joy, happiness. Anytime we can have access to light, nature, artwork that helps with that emotional support through what’s in the environment, we want to add those things to our hospital,” Bush said.

Bush said the idea was conceived by the leadership team at WVU Medicine Children’s. The group decided they wanted to involve their community, particularly the children of their community, to help decorate a space designed to serve them.

From there, a subcommittee was formed, which came up with the theme for the contest and what the art submitted should represent.

“We wanted to make sure that it was a symbol of West Virginia, and so that’s how the parks came about, and that’s how the ask came about with the West Virginia Tourism Office,” Bush said.

Bush said one of the main focuses of creating a healing environment for children and their families to make sure that environment is built specifically for kids and for them to be cared in.

Bush said this notion also influenced the leadership team’s decision to only accept artwork from children for the new building.

“What better way to walk that talk [than] by having things that can uplift the spirit of kids who are going through difficult times from health circumstances than to see artwork that is by one of their own – kids – [from] around the state?” Bush said.

Bush said the pieces featured in the new children’s hospital will be unique in that they will be representative of the state of West Virginia and created by children, while the artwork in the majority of hospitals is done by adults.

“It’s kids helping take care of kids,” Bush said.

According to Bush, the winning pieces will be chosen through a judging process and will be professionally framed at the cost of the sponsors of the contest.

“My hope is that that’s a very difficult pick, that we get so many submissions that it’s really overwhelming, in a good way, to get to pick those,” Bush said.

Bush said this will not be the last time WVU Medicine reaches out to its community to keep it engaged and involved in the services the hospital provides.

Children up to 18 years of age are encouraged to submit artwork in accordance with the theme of the contest, “Home is Where the HeART Is.” Submitted artwork must represent a West Virginia State Park or Forest.

Submissions should be emailed in the form of a high-quality photo to The submission email should include the name, age, contact information, school and grade of the artist as well as an indication as to which state forest or park is depicted in the piece.

The deadline for submissions is March 31. There is no fee to enter the contest.