For Immediate Release October 24, 2023

University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, in partnership with the Kent Cultural Alliance and Kent County public and private schools, recently hosted an art reception in the hospital's Aging & Wellness Center to showcase a new exhibit of student artwork from the local community.

"We are thrilled for the partnership with the Kent Cultural Alliance and all of the public and private schools in our Kent County community," said Lara Wilson, Director, Rural Health Care Transformation at UM Shore Medical Center Chestertown. "Bringing student art into our Aging & Wellness Center has breathed new life into these halls. Patients and staff alike are blown away by the talent and creative gifts of these young artists. The smiles on the faces of the students as they viewed their art being displayed was so heart-warming, and seeing the pride in their parents and grandparents was priceless. This rotating student art exhibit will hopefully bring smiles to our patients and the many other faces of our community for years to come."

This past spring, the Rural Health Transformation Team began working with John Schratwieser, Director of the Kent Cultural Alliance, and area schools to transform the walls of the Aging & Wellness Center walls into a source of enjoyment for patients and pride for local families and their students. Schratwieser and Wilson worked with area schools to pull together artwork from Kent County Public Schools, Radcliffe Creek School and Kent School. The artwork displayed will change twice a year, to give more students a chance to participate.

"We feel honored to be given this opportunity to create a new rotating exhibit of art work by students from across Kent County," Schratwieser said. "Our partners at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown have really opened a new door to the community by featuring the artwork of our youngest budding artists. The faces of the students and their family as they walked these halls at their 'opening' were priceless. We thank the team at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown for creating new connections to rural health care through art."

A guiding theme driving the project is the belief that art contributes not only to the well-being of individuals, but also to communities, and that in a health care setting, art can help the healing process. It also empowers the lives of those who create and brings happiness to those who are fortunate enough to enjoy it.

"When people show their artwork to others it makes them feel appreciated," said Janet McCormick, art teacher at Kent County Middle School. "It makes them feel like what they see and think matters. When you show artwork at a young age, it especially makes you feel like you can do anything, simply because your piece was chosen. We all like to feel appreciated. I hope that whomever walks down the halls at the Aging & Wellness Center sees the love and care that these artists put into their work, and that it puts a smile on the patients' faces and makes them feel appreciated, as well."

Artwork may be viewed by the public during normal business hours in the Aging & Wellness Center, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, please call Lara Wilson at 410-778-7668, ext. 4021, or John Schratwieser at 410-778-3700.