akronchildrens.org

New mural sparks children’s imaginations

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Akron Children’s Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders in the Mahoning Valley is even more colorful this fall with the addition of a jungle-inspired mural.

The concept for the mural was the result of a visit by Susan Summerville, co-founder of Project Ed Bear, a nonprofit organization that provides comfort and needs for children with cancer throughout northeast Ohio.

According to Shari Harmon, the center’s clinical coordinator, when Summerville saw the clinic, she said she had an artist in mind who could paint a mural on one of the clinic walls. Having worked with Akron Children’s before, local artist Paulette Grubb was a natural fit for the project.

Grubb spent 40 hours on-site completing the mural, which features tweeting birds and proud giraffes, a zebra perched above violet blossoms, and a monkey leaning against a branch.

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At the base of the mural, a pair of blue-eyed tiger cubs and two sets of jaguar eyes gaze out from behind a lion. There’s also a white tiger, vibrant emerald foliage and a wide array of wild animals. With so much to look at, it’s become a fun “I spy” game for children.

“When children see my mural, they are coming from or on their way to a treatment room,” Grubb said. “I hope that momentarily as they look at the mural, it takes their mind off what they have been through or what they will be going through that day.”

It has also been a welcome distraction for staff and patients alike.

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“Having the mural in the clinic really brightens up the entire office,” Harmon said. “We hope that it will bring a smile to patients and families, and that they feel a sense of friendliness and calmness as they find their favorite character.”

Grubb added that she was grateful for the comments she received from patients and the staff at Akron Children’s as she worked.

“On this mural and other murals I have completed for Akron Children’s, I try to bring colorful and detailed images to provide friendly, uplifting and positive feelings for patients and their families,” Grubb said.”