High School Artist Creates Mural At Cancer Center

(From Blanchard Valley Health System)

A local high school student recently added some beauty to the lives of those going through cancer treatment.

When a temporary wall was set up during construction at The Armes Family Cancer Care Center, a Blanchard Valley Health System division, associates discussed creating a mural.

“Cancer treatment is stressful enough,” said Samantha Sheets (RTT), a radiation therapist. “We are working hard to minimize the effects construction may have on patients, but it sometimes means additional noise. We thought having something pretty to look at would have a calming effect.”

Dr. Stephen Lutz, a radiation oncologist at the cancer center, is also a Findlay High School cross-country coach. He had mentioned to others at the school that BVHS was seeking an artist.

The word spread to Zoie Scott, a 17-year-old junior who said she has been drawing “ever since I can remember.”

Sheets acted as the liaison. Since the wall would be up for a significant portion of winter, they settled on a winter scene. Zoie came up with an image of mountains and trees amid the snow.

Zoie started on her iPad, creating a digital mock-up of what the mural would look like based on the dimensions of the wall.

“I primarily create portraits rather than landscapes,” Zoie said. “But I like painting, and I had never created one that big before.”

The mural was nine by 12 feet. Zoie said she learned new things as an artist. For example, acrylic paint doesn’t spread as easily on larger surfaces like this.

Zoie spent about a week working on the painting each day after school. Lutz provided funds for paint and supplies.

Patients receiving radiation therapy generally come for 15-minute sessions five days a week over several weeks to avoid being exposed to too much radiation at once. Sheets said at least 25 patients saw the mural each day. Associates enjoyed it, too, she said.

“Zoie’s work made the place more cheerful,” Sheets said. “Patients were always telling us how nice it looked. Many were surprised to learn that a high school student had created this.”

“I was really happy to be able to provide people with something beautiful during their cancer treatment,” Zoie said.

She also sees a tie between art and health in general. “Creating art is meaningful and feels healing,” Zoie said. “Drawing is relaxing for me.”

The project allowed her to learn a lot and set new creative goals. For example, she wants to work more with oil paint in the future. She’s also interested in creating more landscapes.

“I would love to do more things like this,” Zoie said.

For more information about The Armes Family Cancer Care Center, please visit bvhealthsystem.org/cancer