Project Picasso is a Volunteer run Art Enrichment Program, overseen by hospital staff including support from Child Life, Therapy Services, and the Art Therapy Program.  The program currently operates on the 9th floor Hematology/Oncology Unit once or twice a week and has expanded to the 12th floor Neurology/Neurorehab Unit and the 8th floor General Medicine floor.  These groups currently take place on Friday afternoons. Patients are invited to attend on their respective units and the activity offered hopes to achieve the following goals, which may include, but are not limited to:

  • Provide social opportunities for patients to interact with each other, with volunteers and with staff
  • Provide exposure to new art techniques, activities, and artists throughout history
  • Provide patients with the opportunity for expression
  • Develop and strengthen self-esteem
  • Expose patients to art production, which is a healthy way to release energy

The art activities offered are intended to build on the strengths and skills of the individual patient.  In addition, the age and developmental level of each patient is always taken into consideration.  The creative process during Project Picasso is as important, if not more so, than the art product.  Project Picasso volunteers and staff assisting in the program are encouraged to compliment the efforts and expand the imagination of the individual whereas criticism and technical achievement are discouraged and detrimental to the goals of the program.

Project Picasso began at St. Louis Children’s Hospital in the spring of 2007 as collaboration between Washington University undergraduate students and St. Louis Children's Hospital’s Art Therapy Program.  These and other students and individuals who are interested in organizing and leading hospital patients in art enrichment activities go through the hospital’s volunteer orientation program and adhere to our volunteer policies and procedures.

For more information about Project Picasso, or interest in getting more involved, please contact Art Therapist, Julie Gant at 314.454.2758 or [email protected]

In addition, please follow the hospital’s website links to Volunteer Services for criteria on becoming an SLCH Volunteer.