Student artwork on show to help sick kids

The annual Operation Art exhibition featuring student artwork opens today at Sydney Olympic Park.

Image: Cockatoos on the Floodplain: Artwork from students at Chullora Public School is one of almost 500 on display at Operation Art.

Student artwork from schools across NSW is being showcased from today at this year’s Operation Art exhibition at the Armory Gallery, Sydney Olympic Park.

The annual exhibition, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, features almost 500 artworks from students across NSW schools, created with the aim of using art to bring joy to sick children in hospitals. 

Among the hundreds of artwork submitted by students in Kindergarten to Year 10, a total of 50 are selected to be hung in The Children’s Hospital at Westmead as part of its permanent art collection. 

Heidi Windeisen, Operation Art Officer at the department’s Arts Unit said this year’s exhibition was made more significant because of the impact of the pandemic.  

“Operation Art is a program that many schools have been engaging with since its inception 25 years ago,” Ms Windeisen said. 

“Each year teachers know they can inspire their students to create artworks for sick kids in hospital, to give purpose to their work and understand that visual arts can promote a feeling of joy to those who spend much of their time in hospitals.” 

She said it was exciting to see the artworks that had been created by students while many of them were learning from home. 

“Many students have created their artworks at home with only materials which were readily available to them, and many have created works as a direct response to their own experiences of isolation,” she said. 

Westmead Children’s Hospital art curator Ivy Baddock had the difficult task of selecting 50 artworks for the hospital’s collection. 

“I am excited every year to see what the students have created for Operation Art and the impressive standard of work makes my job so much harder,” Ms Baddock said.  

“The artworks offer patients and their families respite from the clinical hospital environment by helping reduce stress, make our hospitals more welcoming and enhance spaces where quiet moments can occur.”    

Operation Art is an initiative of The Children’s Hospital at Westmead in association with the NSW Department of Education and in collaboration with Sydney Olympic Park Authority.  

Operation Art is open daily from 15 October until 15 November, 10am to 4pm at Armory Gallery, Sydney Olympic Park. Entry is free. 

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