National Art Honor Society provides hospital artwork in Youth Art for Healing project


Musab Mayad

Students work on their artwork for the Youth Art for Healing program

Nadaja Burnett-Pierre and Aisha Sowe

Hospitals have been trying to brighten things up for patients and visitors’ mental health for a long time. Now with the help of our school’s National Art Honor Society, they might have found a way.

Youth Art for Healing is a non-profit organization that wanted to bring art to health centers. The organization was created by a nurse to help patients by putting canvases into the room and hallways of different hospitals and health centers in the Maryland and DC area. Watkins Mill has been helping with the organization for the past three years.

“National Art Honors Society is very involved in helping the community with art and having people with skills in art helping people,” sponsor Limor Dekel said. Youth Art for Healing accepts work from both middle and high school students. They take about 200 canvases every year and provide the schools with canvases and themes and the students produce the work.

This year, the National Art Honors Society decided to do things differently with their theme. Students painted buildings, such as the Lincoln Memorial, and painted animals. The artwork that they submit “takes several months to complete,” Dekel added.

Senior Amber Thompson has been submitting artwork for the past three years. She had a grandmother who was in a hospital. “Whenever I went there, it was really drab and basically seemed like a prison with beds in every room. I always wished I had something to make it happier,” Thompson said.

“I think it’s great that they’re being sent to hospitals because a lot of low and sad times come and go through the hospital most the time,” senior Briana Pasion said. “If any patient or family member can take time to appreciate something beautiful and nice in that environment, it’s worth a try.”

The organization has a website where people can donate and see a gallery filled with with pictures that go into hospitals and health centers and see an interview from our school. “I would [submit] more art. I learned a lot from the experience, not just techniques, but more about myself,” junior Jessie De Arms said.

Musab Mayab
Finished product of a painting for Youth Art for Healing
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