Children’s works featured in “Animal-Gamation” art exhibition

Art with a Heart in Healthcare and MOCA Jacksonville showcase pediatric patient artworks in Aug. 11 public reception


MOCA Jacksonville continues its partnership with Art with a Heart in Healthcare to present  a special exhibition of artwork by pediatric patients from Wolfson Children’s Hospital titled “Animal-Gamation.”

“For eight years, MOCA Jacksonville has been honored to partner with Art with A Heart in Healthcare,” said MOCA Jacksonville director Caitlín Doherty. “This exhibition is a testimony to the healing power of art and a celebration of its growing momentum in the world of healthcare.”

Art with A Heart in Healthcare is a nonprofit organization that provides personalized fine art experiences to enhance the healing process for patients and families at Wolfson Children’s Hospital. Each patient is partnered with an artist in residence of AWAHIH, bringing out their natural talents, while promoting self-confidence and self-awareness during their hospital experience. 

“For children in the hospital, art is so much more than a fun activity. It provides a distraction from pain, helps them express themselves during a stressful time, and is part of their healing process,” said Michael D. Aubin, president of Wolfson Children’s Hospital.

“Art with a Heart in Healthcare’s professional artists share their creative gifts seven days a week with Wolfson Children’s Hospital patients, in every setting, from the medical/surgical floors to our child and adolescent behavioral health unit, at the bedside and in our playrooms. Art with a Heart is an essential member of our Wolfson Children’s Hospital caregiving team.”

For the 2019 exhibition, Animal-Gamation, a play on the word amalgamation, each artist flexed the imagination and created an animal by combining characteristics of different members of the animal kingdom. 

“Each artist was asked to create a unique animal by combining two or more animals. We explored what characteristics/meaning animals have, the patients’ own personality traits, and their life stories to help combine an animal that symbolized who they were and what they wanted to represent. Working with AWAHIH artists they brought out their own natural talents and expanded their artistic expression on a mixed media canvas,” said Christy Ponder, executive director and artist in residence of AWAHIH.

On Sunday, Aug. 11, MOCA Jacksonville will host the opening reception for this unique exhibition, an opportunity for families and friends of the young artists to gather and connect in a moment of creative community. The reception is free and open to the public. Animal-Gamation will be on view in the MOCA Jacksonville Education Gallery Aug. 10 – Dec. 8. The program is sponsored by Black Knight Financial Services.