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Art students inspire with sidewalk chalk designs

Monday, February 23rd was a special day for Porter Ridge Art students and for the healthcare workers at Atrium Health Union West. Visual Art students, as well as members from the National Art Honor Society, were the secret artists in a surprise sidewalk chalk art exhibit!
PR Art students decorate sidewalks with inspirational designs

The idea originated when Barbara Faulk, Director of the Union County Community Arts Council, requested on behalf of the employees at Atrium Health Union West, that Art teacher Kristen Baucom assemble a group of art students to create a surprise at the teammate entrance prior to the Grand Opening of their new hospital location.

The Facilities Executive and Chief Nurse wanted the sidewalk “Chalked” for their First Patient Day on February 23rd. The idea was that as teammates came in on their first day with patients, they would see empowering messages and images to feel inspired by from Day 1.

Some of the messages students illustrated were: “Have a Happy 1st Day,” “Best of Luck,” “You are Vital,” “You’re Braver than You Believe,” “Hearts for Healthcare Workers,” “Champions Wear Scrubs,” “Thank You,” “You’re a Rainbow in Someone’s Cloud,” and “Healthcare Heroes, Enter Here. The World Needs You.”

The students involved were Brenda Correa Cortez, Ryan Schwenk, Luke Troffinoff, Perla Casiano-Pineda, Ashley Cole, Olivia Bowman, Isabella Foy, Tatiana Dudina, Dawson Paulin, Claire Kramb, Nina Le, Julia DeGroot, Brooke Kraieski, Melissa Obi, and Nathan Volpe.

When asked what the experience meant to her and her students, Baucom said, “It was so wonderful having Porter Ridge students share their artmaking passion to bring joy to the Atrium healthcare workers as they embarked on their first day with patients in a completely new facility! I am so proud that our students would volunteer to spend their free time after school to do so. There were Atrium employees in and out of the building throughout the time we were there working, and several of the artist’s commented on the level of interest and appreciation that their creations were drumming up. I could see that it made them genuinely happy to be a bright spot for some of the hardest working people in our community. I am appreciative not only to the student artists that participated, but also to the Union County Community Arts Council and Atrium Health Union West for providing us with the opportunity to participate in this service project. It was a great experience.” 

PR Art student creates sidewalk chalk design

Several student artists shared their feelings about the experience:

"The best part of sharing inspirational art with healthcare workers and patients was knowing that it would brighten their day. Knowing that I was part of those who put a smile on people's faces makes me happy," said Senior Perla Casiano-Pineda

 "It felt good to use art for the benefit of others," said Senior Luke Trofinoff

"The best part of sharing inspirational art with healthcare workers and patients was the feeling of doing a good deed with my passion for art. The unison of my hobby and motivating others made me feel fulfilled, and getting to know other people with my same motivation gave me a feeling of belonging," said Junior Brenda Correa Cortez

The Atrium Team shared their responses to seeing the sidewalk chalk art exhibit:

“It was absolutely amazing!!  The team was in awe of the recognition this morning! Thanks so much for making this happen!!” -Denise White

“Words cannot express our gratitude for the students who came and chalked our teammates' entrance. Today is a historical day for Atrium Health Union West and each teammate who works here. The kind words and images will empower our teammates as they pass through the doors today on our opening day and will stay with them as we serve our very first patients at Union West.” -Rachel Horne


Check out the slideshow below for pictures of the designs PR Art students created!