This past winter I took part in a collaborative artmaking venture that teamed artists and young people in pairs to create a variety of art for a new wing at Dayton’s Children’s Medical Center. The project was the inspiration of Jane Black, who is the Executive Director of the Dayton Visual Arts Center, an organization for artists and art lovers, dedicated to furthering the visual arts in the Miami Valley.

The project, It Takes Two, paired one artist and one young person. Together we worked on collages, fused glass, soft sculpture, digital art and more. All of the work had an aquatic theme to fit the decor of the new wing at Children’s. We met on Saturday mornings for several months to work on our various projects, all of us coming and going as our schedules allowed, and participating as much as we were able. My only regret during the whole project was that I had to miss some Saturdays! We had so much fun, and the atmosphere of creativity was electric – “swimmingly” good!

All of the artwork that Children’s Medical selected is now installed, and if you check the life section of the Dayton Daily News – Sunday, March 30 – you will see a very nice article by Meredith Moss, complete with pictures. And, if you go to the newspaper’s website, you can see many more pictures that really give the flavor of our endeavors. This was truly a wonderful experience, and I hope to do more like it.

Several of the artists involved also created focal point pieces for the wing – Terry Welker, Susan Cannon, and Peri Switzer (mobiles, glass, and fiber). Check those out too. And Amy Deal, along with Jane, organized all of us and kept us inspired. Thanks and congrats to all of you!

Artmaking in Dayton is thriving, and if you take some time to view the images we made for the hospital, you will see for yourself! It was a fun time – we made new friends, colorful art, and hopefully, made some children’s stays at the hospital a little better.