Work of 16 young patient artists on exhibit

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Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville has announced its new exhibition, “What Lifts You Up,” in partnership with Art with a Heart in Healthcare.

The exhibition will be on view Sept. 11 through Jan. 8. The opening event will take place at 2 p.m. Sept. 11. “What Lifts You Up” features the work of 16 young artists who are patients at local hospitals.

For more than a decade, MOCA Jacksonville has partnered with Art with a Heart in Healthcare, a nonprofit organization that provides personalized art experiences to enhance the healing process for patients and families at Wolfson Children’s Hospital, Nemours Children’s Specialty Clinic, St. Vincent’s Medical Center, Mayo Clinic and Baptist Medical Center.

The teams at Art with a Heart in Healthcare and MOCA Jacksonville work together each year to develop a unique patient art exhibition based on a prompt or question that inspires imagination, artistry and individual expression among young patients, who work under the guidance of an artist-in-residence.

“In addition to the benefits each patient artist gleans from engaging in artistic exploration, they are able to build a sense of accomplishment, pride and meaning by having their artwork on display within a museum space,” said Christy Ponder, executive director and artist-in-residence for Art with a Heart in Healthcare.

Over the years, the program has developed different themes to encourage more than 100,000 patients to express themselves through art. They are empowered to gain technical art-making and creative skills, while learning to articulate their feelings, ideas and experiences. The experience empowers patients to celebrate and explore the artistic process, while gaining self-confidence and self-awareness.

“MOCA Jacksonville is a proud partner of Art with a Heart in Healthcare and its work to transform the health care experiences of young patients through the power of creative expression,” said Caitlin Doherty. “The creation of art has a unique ability to help people see their world in new ways, to process their experiences and to share those experiences with others, especially during difficult or stressful times.”

This year’s artists-in-residence were Dylan Bauer, Heidi Drost, Kianna Godoy, Amy Irizarry, Brooke McKinney, Lisa Miyares, Jill Olmo, Matt Richards and Abigail Santos. This exhibition is sponsored by the Florida Blue. Additional support for this exhibition was made in part by the City of Jacksonville, the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, the National Endowment for the Arts and the University of North Florida.

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