A new exhibit from UTMB featuring seaside-themed art by Galveston schoolchildren is on display at Moody Gardens.
The exhibit’s oversized display panels offer a wide range of information and illustrations focusing on child and family health and contains enlarged artwork by local children, reproduced on banners that hang from the vaulted ceiling in the gallery adjacent to the IMAX Theater in the Moody Gardens Visitors Center.
The UTMB Families and Children Exhibit at Moody Gardens, scheduled to remain open for several months, offers visitors the opportunity to learn more about the many ways UTMB serves families throughout the region.
The aquatic-themed artwork by local children is displayed to highlight the partnership between UTMB and the Galveston Independent School District’s Department of Fine Arts. Since 2009, the school district has provided art by GISD children for walls throughout UTMB’s 61st Street Pediatric Clinic.
“When kids go to the clinic for health appointments and are able to point out their own artwork on the walls to the doctors and nurses, they are excited and proud,” said Stephen Duncan, director of fine arts for GISD. “Children as young as first grade participate, and we hit the art rooms of the middle schools and Ball High School for art by more advanced students as well.”
The Moody Gardens exhibit shows a cross-section of the kind of student art on display at UTMB’s 61st Street Clinic — from beginning to advanced — each piece selected by Duncan once every quarter during the regular rounds he makes of all the Galveston schools’ art departments. Every three months, a new collection of student art is installed at the clinic, so things always are changing. The clinic is like a gallery, with the art constantly coming and going.
Duncan leaves the original student art in place at each school but takes photographs of pieces he thinks would be good candidates for the quarterly display at the 61st Street Pediatric Clinic. After gathering a selection of art photos from every GISD school, he convenes a panel of colleagues to vote for the winning works. Color laser prints of the winning entries are framed and hung on the walls at the clinic.
“We wanted the exhibit at Moody Gardens to illustrate how creative the partnership between UTMB and GISD has been for both organizations,” said Mary Jo Singleton, communications manager for the Department of Pediatrics and designer of the exhibit.
“We hear over and again how much it means to the children to have their art on public display in a place where many of their friends and family members are going to see it.”
Besides the large-scale reproductions of the children’s art reproduced on the exhibit banners, the original pieces are on display as well, framed behind glass and hanging as a group at the entrance to the exhibit.