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Carilion Clinic, Taubman Museum Partner to Support Patient Comfort and Healing Through Art

More than 100 ceiling tiles painted by local school children will brighten Carilion Children’s Hospital

We all know that hospitals can be intimidating places – combine a patient’s fears with a sterile environment devoid of the comforts of home, and the anxiety level can ramp up easily.

Recent studies have shown that there is an effective way to ease stress, reduce the use of pain medication, lower blood pressure and heart rate, and even shorten a patient’s length of stay: through the healing power of art.

Recognizing that the very best patient care means treating more than just physical symptoms, Carilion Clinic and its Dr. Robert L.A. Keeley Healing Arts Program have partnered with the Taubman Museum of Art on the new “Healing Ceiling” project, with the goal to place joyful, whimsical, hand-painted ceiling tiles in patient treatment areas at its Children’s Hospital.

The Taubman mobilized its expertise and resources in art to provide instruction, prompts and materials to fourth and fifth graders at Boones Mill, Fishburn Park, Garden City and Morningside elementary schools. Students from the Temple Emanuel Teen Youth Group also contributed. The young artists hand painted more than 100 ceiling tiles this past school year before COVID-19 shuttered classrooms.

“These tiles will provide comfort to some of our youngest patients when they receive care,” said Carilion Clinic Vice President of Facilities Martin Misicko. “We are very thankful for all the young artists who took part in this project. Their work will play a role in the healing process of many. It’s been uplifting to see these students give back to their community and contribute to the care of others.”

Before the tiles are installed at the Children’s Hospital, they will be on view to the public Aug. 7-30 in the Museum’s Atrium, with a virtual exhibition online at Prizes for First, Second and Third Place will be awarded, and the public is invited to vote for the

“People’s Choice Award.” The community exhibition is free and open to the public during Museum hours, Friday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday 12-5 p.m.

“We are honored to partner with Carilion Clinic on an initiative with such a positive impact for so many in our community,” said Cindy Petersen, executive director at the Taubman Museum of Art. “In addition to helping the young patients at Carilion, this project helped engender kindness and empathy in the young artists who created the ceiling tiles. Their creativity is truly inspirational.”

A second exhibition of 100 additional “Healing Ceiling” tiles painted by students at Greenfield, East Salem, Monterey, South Salem and Westside elementary schools is planned for February 2021 at the Museum.

For additional information on the “Healing Ceiling” project, visit

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