Te Awhina launches appeal for school art to decorate walls

Te Awhina staff are keen to find talented secondary school art students who would like to donate a favourite painting to hang on the walls of Whanganui’s recently refurbished acute mental health unit facility.
Registered nurse Erin O’Connell says there’s a wonderful opportunity for students to display their work on Te Awhina’s blank wall space creating a win-win for themselves, Te Awhina clients, staff and visitors.
“We have no pre-conceived ideas about the type of work we could display,” Mrs O’Connell says.
“I’m sure any paintings offered to us would cover a variety of subjects and that the students would have used many different media ranging from oils, to water colours and possibly even three-dimensional sculptural processes.”
Mrs O’Connell says while it’s her personal interest in art which has been the inspiration behind the idea of going out to schools, having the support of clinical nurse manager, mental health Katheryn Butters has been very important.
“Katheryn and I plan to contact the heads of art at Wanganui’s five secondary schools to see if they will support the scheme and encourage their art students to put aside a painting they’d like to donate to Te Awhina,” Erin says.
“If a school and their students tell us they’d like to, we’ll arrange a time to view the works, select the paintings we feel would fit well into Te Awhina and arrange to hang them and ensure that the name of each artist and their school is clear for all to all to see.”
Mrs O’Connell says if they were to end up with too many works she and Ms Butters would look at how they could store and rotate them as galleries do and or they might consider sharing them with other departments throughout the hospital.
“We’re very keen to try and showcase the work of the many talented young artists we have living in Wanganui and we recognise what a big part art plays in the lives of our clients. A lot of them benefit from taking part in art and creative work as part of their recovery.
“I think it would wonderful for our clients, staff and visitors to have the opportunity to enjoy seeing a collection of art on our walls.”