St. Luke’s Hospital pediatric unit unveils artwork created by the New Bedford Art Museum/ArtWorks!’s Teens Reach Beyond program

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. – Southcoast Health unveiled today ceiling tiles with child-friendly artwork created by the New Bedford Art Museum/ArtWorks!’s Teens Reach Beyond program for St. Luke’s Hospital’s pediatric unit. The ceiling tiles were decorated by teens ranging in age from 12 to 17.

“We are so excited that this artwork is now a permanent part of the pediatric unit here,” said Lisa Tibbetts, Director of the Family Centered Unit at St. Luke’s. “It is wonderful that kids in our community took the time to create these bright, beautiful images that will help to bring a smile to children being treated in our hospital.”

Over a 24-week period beginning in October, the teens completed 28 2-by-2-foot acoustic ceiling tiles for placement in six exam rooms within the pediatric unit. The paintings are meant to enhance the exam room environment and help alleviate anxiety for young patients, explained Kara Levoshko, MS, CCLS, Certified Child Life Specialist at Southcoast, who initiated and helped organize the project.

“The kids really enjoyed doing this project and today was the big payoff,” said Deb Smook, Studio Education and Outreach Director at NBAM/ArtWorks!. “They were very excited to see where their work would end up. This was a very rewarding experience for them and hopefully it means a lot to kids that visit the hospital in the future.”

The Teens Reach Beyond program supports creative and career skills for teens through weekly art instruction, dedicated projects for the community and personal growth. The program is funded through the City of New Bedford Community Block grant, New Bedford Local Cultural Council and the John Lipsky-George Whittaker fund.

The arts provide opportunities not only for personal enrichment and enjoyment but also serve as a vehicle to build 21st century skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, and team collaboration that are vital to today’s workforce along with offering the means to contribute positively to the community, said Smook.