Cancer Center

Art for Kids in the Cancer Center

If you're walking the halls of the oncology unit on a Monday afternoon, you might see Jessica Boyko, the Cancer Center's Artist-in-Residence. Jessica first came to CHOP in 2011 art for kids with cancer
"Fish." Watercolor pencils on paper, by a 14-year-old boy.
when the Hospital received a LIVESTRONG Community Impact Project grant. The grant made it possible to bring a unique arts initiative to CHOP cancer patients: the Artists-in-Residence program from the Creative Center. 

The program sends an artist right into the oncology unit, who visits once a week with supplies for painting, drawing, printing, cutting, gluing, jewelry making, and more. The artist-in-residence offers patients the opportunity to learn about and become absorbed in their own creative resources as they deal with diagnosis, treatment and survivorship.

The artists-in-residence are carefully selected and trained to work in the hospital setting. They receive education, support, and on-going supervision from child life specialists. Thanks to a private donor, this great program will be continued through 2012.

Meet Jessica Boyko

Jessica, who lives and works in Philadelphia, received a Bachelor's of Fine Art from Boston University, College of Fine Arts and a Master's of Fine Art from Maryland Institute, College of Art. When she's not at CHOP, Jessica teaches at Moore art for kids with cancer
Jessica Boyko, the Cancer Center's Artist-in-Residence.
College of Art & Design and Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, and is also the Children & Youth Program assistant at Fleisher Art Memorial. She has this to say about her experience in the Cancer Center:

“Throughout this time I’ve had the opportunity to meet some of the most wonderful families who enjoy taking part in the program. The projects I’ve done with kids are an experience that allows them to express themselves through creativity and learn while they receive treatment, wait to see their doctor, or have a test. Both the patients and the families, whether inpatient or outpatient, look forward to the Mondays when I come to see them and welcome the distraction of a new project.

"One of my favorite projects to do with kids is printmaking. The process is exciting and they love the idea of having multiple prints. It’s a great way to introduce them to pattern, repetition, and texture. They learn about mixing color, the difference between warm and cool colors and which side of the color wheel they would like to work with.


 "On the inpatient unit, I have the chance to work with some patients several times. This allows us to use the prints we’ve made again the next week to make something new. We can rip it, cut it, color it, collage with it and then draw on it if they’d like. In the printmaking process, the child uses a rolling movement to transfer the image to the paper, and it’s a process that can provide an outlet for any anger or other emotions that they might be feeling. Not only is the process of printmaking fun, but it also never fails to leave kids surprised at the different images they make, and how creative they really are.”


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