Tag Archives: PCH

The fine art of pediatrics

I met a delightful medical student while attending a recent surprise party for Colleen-Jennings Roggensack, who’s celebrating her 20th year as executive director for ASU Gammage in Tempe. Turns out his mom, also a doctor, is one of the venue’s biggest supporters.

We enjoyed a lovely conversation about everything from the thrill of attending the Tony Awards to the best New Jersey destinations for art lovers, since I’ll be heading that way for a couple of Springsteen concerts this fall. Seems her son is torn between practicing pediatrics and emergency medicine.

A work by Amy Ringholz exhibited at Phoenix Children’s Hospital

I shared my relief that all three of our children made it to college without needing the emergency medicine piece, but also praised the hospital whose specialists made it possible for our kids to grow from babies to young adults. And then I remembered a recent call for art that came across my virtual desk.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is currently holding its eighth annual children’s art contest, giving youth a chance to win a trip to New Orleans. Entries are being accepted through Aug. 13 for this year’s contest, which features the theme of “A Healthy Start to Your Day.”

Youth in and beyond the United States can enter, but eligible ages differ. In the U.S., the contest is open to children in three categories — grades 3-5, grades 6-8 and grades 9-12. First-place winners earn cash prizes and travel expenses, plus matching cash awards for their schools. Prizes will also be awarded to second- and third-place winners.

Another Ringholz work that cheers Phoenix Children’s Hospital patients

International entries are being accepted for a single contest for youth ages 13-18. The winner will receive a cash prize, as will the winner’s school. For this category only, entries can be submitted by e-mail (to artcontest@aap.org).

Last year’s contest drew entries from youth in 37 states and 10 countries. First-place awards for U.S. entries went to youth in Massachussetts, Colorado and California. The international winner was from India.

Children in the U.S. should send their original artwork, along with entry and consent forms, to: Children’s Art Contest, American Academy of Pediatrics, 141 Northwest Point Blvd., Elk Grove Village, IL 60007. Entries must be postmarked by Aug. 13.

Winning entries will be selected by a panel of judges to include pediatrians. The American Academy of Pediatrics, by the way, is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults.

The art contest is supported by Kellogg Company. Other contest details are available online.

– Lynn

Note: Click here to enjoy more of artist Amy Ringholz’s work, and here to find Amy Ringholz Studios on Facebook.

Coming up: Nominees make some noise

Let me call you sweet art

Artist Kit Carson created this bracelet for the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix

Enough with the chocolates and flowers already. Enough with holidays that tell us when, where and how to express our love. Enough with token gifts fraught with misgivings rather than meaning.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day if you must, but get your heart on with gifts that truly matter — enriching experiences and choices that enhance our communities — instead of mere bon bons or bling.

Choosing Valentine’s Day gifts for children? Support our local hospitals and medical centers by hitting their gift shops for playful presents like games, stuffed animals and craft kits.

I’m eagerly awaiting the opening of the new Phoenix Children’s Hospital gift shop in their stunning 11-story tower, but I’m enjoying hunting in the meantime for treasures in the east building’s gift shop.

There’s plenty to choose from in all price ranges — including jewelry, clothing with an artsy feel, art activities and board games you might not find in your typical toy store.

Museum gift shops offer lots of fun finds for children and adults. Think the Heard Museum for gifts with an American Indian theme. The Musical Instrument Museum for all things music-related. The Phoenix Art Museum for sweethearts who appreciate art in every nook and cranny, even the kitchen.

Plenty of performing arts venues have gift shops full of unique fare with an artistic flair. Think Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Mesa Arts Center, Tempe Center for the Arts and more.

Watch for gift boutiques when you attend performances by Valley arts organizations. I often encounter fun goodies when seeing the Phoenix Symphony, the Arizona Opera or Ballet Arizona perform at Symphony Hall in Phoenix.

Some arts organizations, including the Great Arizona Puppet Theater in Phoenix, have their own on-site gift shops — and invite folks to stop and shop even when they’re not there for a performance.

There are plenty of options for those of you still rushing to put together that perfect Valentine’s Day experience. No need to panic with those pesky pajama grams.

Instead of dinner and a movie, treat your beloved to a film festival (perhaps a romantic trip to the Sedona International Film Festival) or a night out to enjoy art, dance, music or theater. (Better yet: Pop for season tickets.)

I suppose I won’t reject any bon bons or bling that might come my way this year, but I’ll have to fight the urge to turn everything over and search for evidence it came from one of the community causes I so love to support — even in small ways.

– Lynn

Note: Don’t forget the charm of homemade gifts of art with heart — your local bead shop or pottery painting store can help with ideas, materials and even execution of your project

Coming up: The fine art of daily blogging

Art adventures: Phoenix Children’s

One of a pair of prints featuring children's toys

It might seem an odd place for an art adventure, but I uncovered all sorts of paintings, photos and sculpture on a recent visit to the new 11-story tower at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

I swung by the hospital one day after taking Lizabeth to school — and ran into Steve Schnall, a fellow Desert View Learning Center parent and longtime PCH administrator, just outside the cafeteria.

You see art at PCH from the minute elevator doors open

“What happens in the PCH cafeteria,” I thought, “should stay in the PCH cafeteria.” Happily, he was way too busy to witness my carbo binge as I morphed from arts writer to food critic.

I wondered how the pizza and bread sticks would compare with my kids’ favorite pizzeria at the mall, and felt it was my duty to find out. Thumbs up, by the way, for the spicy pepperoni and generous crust.

Giant art piece viewed from a family laundry room on the third floor

I’d have stayed and “done the laptop” all day if I’d been clever enough to access the guest wireless account, but ended up roaming the first couple floors instead — searching for kid-friendly art.

You’ll be happy to know that you won’t get far at PCH without signing in, snagging a visitor pass and such. I learned the hard way after turning my camera loose before connecting with the fine folks who manage such things.

When a volunteer and security guard got to wondering that I was up to, I felt like I’d just time-traveled back to my college days — when museum security guards had to constantly remind me that artwork was for admiring, not touching.

As I sat with a security guard waiting for clearance to finish my photo shoot, I noticed that every single person who walked by one particular piece of art had to touch it.

One of many bright and cheerful conversation areas on the second floor

Instead of shaking a finger, the security guard shared my delight — remarking that the best art invites interaction. Once I was cleared for take-off, he pointed me in the direction of some of his favorite pieces.

The three paintings of coy fish in a 2nd floor waiting area. The two photos of frogs, in brilliant green and purple, tucked away near the back of another clinic’s reception area.

This is the piece on the second floor that folks find so touchable

The rabbit sculpture near one of the tower’s many vast windows overlooking mountains in the distance. The painting of a dog at the wheel of a colorful car.

Turns out he’s an artist who creates some serious oil paintings when he’s not on duty. Thanks to a handy cell phone picture, he was able to show me a photo of a horse painting that looked remarkably expressive and rich in detail and color.

Knowing he was on duty, I didn’t want to inquire any further into his work. But I do hope he’ll contact me one day during his spare time so I can learn more about what seems a fascinating double life.

One of a trio of paintings featuring coy fish

And I have to wonder, how many of the people we encounter each day spend their evening or weekend hours engaged in creative enterprises that never reach our radar?

After penning nearly 500 posts, I still find the world exploding with stories — some obvious, but most tucked away. They’re revealed in chance encounters, authentic conversations and the everyday wonders of our world.

– Lynn

Note: Many Valley hospitals serving children feature child-friendly artwork, so make time to notice and appreciate it next time you’re there.

Coming up: Google meets museum

Towering art exhibit

I drive by all sorts of towers in Phoenix and surrounding cities each day, but there are two that have special meaning. One helped my children begin life. The other helped give them wings.

The first is Good Samaritan Hospital – which I never pass without wondering which of the many windows might mark the rooms where my three children were born, all some two decades or so ago.

The second is the new 11-story tower at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, whose team of medical professionals has cared for my kids for nearly that long. We know the E.R., and plenty of the specialty clinics — from dermatology to gastroenterology — well.

We missed Monday’s opening of the new outpatient clinics because my son, now 21, was having a medical procedure at another site — but he still beams with pride every time we drive by the new Phoenix Children’s tower, knowing it’s part of the hospital that’s sometimes felt like a second home.

I’ll be heading over to Phoenix Children’s Hospital today to see the new tower in all its glory – then heading home to wrap up a piece on the hospital for an upcoming issue of Raising Arizona Kids magazine.

Through the years I’ve covered many a Phoenix Children’s Hospital milestone for the magazine. I’ve marveled at the sight of tiny babies who thrive despite being born before their time and chatted with older children who’ve faced cancer or undergone delicate heart surgery.

I’m eager to return today — but without my children. They’ll all be in class or doing volunteer work, so I can stroll the halls of the newest Phoenix Children’s Hospital tower alone as I consider all it has meant in their young lives.

I’ll likely take my humble camera along to snap photos of the diverse and delightful art young patients and their families will encounter each time they’re at the new tower.

I already know it’s spectacular because I enjoyed a sneak peek several weeks ago with Daniel Friedman — the photographer, visual artist and former teacher whose fresh writing greets you on the magazine’s home page each day.

Watch for future snapshots that I’ll be adding to this post. In the meantime, visit RAK magazine on Facebook to see how the professionals do it — and check out exciting news about what’s new (and coming) on the Phoenix Children’s Hospital website.

– Lynn

Note: Phoenix Children’s Hospital is working on other additions and renovations as it moves toward becoming the nation’s largest hospital dedicated to serving children and teens.

Coming up: More art that heals