Mills Students Paint Pictures of Good Health


By Marta Gil Vara

Zack Thompson creates abstract art for the Charlotte Hungerford Hospital.

Taylor Copeland, Reporter

Lewis Mills artists have teamed up with Charlotte Hungerford Hospital, located in Torrington, CT, to create murals that will decorate the halls of the medical facility. Mills was presented with the project by Deb Olsen, a friend of Mr. Woodcox and a nurse at Charlotte Hungerford.
“She asked me if I would be interested. We don’t always take a lot of these [projects] because we get asked a million times to do things, but I thought it was a really good cause, spoke with Mrs. Wyzykowski, got her thoughts on it and we decided to ask some kids if they were interested in doing it,” says Mills art teacher Mr. Woodcox.
The art will adorn the walls of the psychiatric area of the hospital. There are specific guidelines as to what colors and subjects the students are allowed to paint in the murals.
“[The hospital] wanted them to be non-representational: they didn’t want scenes that were recognizable. They had a limit on their color palette. No reds or nothing that was too intense and no pastels. They also wanted students to think about the human power of art,” he continues, “As we know, art can be very healing.”
There are numerous student volunteers who work after school on Wednesdays to paint these large-scale canvas murals, which are to be directly mounted on the walls of the hospital.
“They did supply all the art supplies. The bought all the canvas, they bought all the paint, all the paint brushes and everything so we didn’t have to use any supplies from Lewis S. Mills students, which is really nice,” said Mr. Woodcox.
As of now, there is no deadline for the project. Students will work on their art until they feel it has reached a stage of completeion that they are happy about. The volunteers are really excited to be a part of this project, and their hope is that their art has a lasting effect on the patients in the psychiatric wing of the hospital.
“Art can be a really big part of the healing process,” says senior Sam Lawton, a volunteer for the project. “It can cause a lot of joy and that’s sometimes what people really need.”