Operation Art, Royal Alexandra Hospital
for Children Westmead
The Nelson Meers Foundation supported Operation Art for 7 wonderful years from 2004 to 2010. Operation Art was an annual statewide competition for school children from Kindergarten to Year 10 to create artworks for children in hospital. From over 600 entries, 50 of the children's paintings were selected for exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW and a touring exhibition of eight regional galleries. The program culminated in the paintings becoming part of the impressive permanent collection at the Children's Hospital Westmead and Bear Cottage (the Children's Hospice), and they quickly became some of the most popular with visitors. Regional hospitals and other children's support agencies, recognising the value of this unique visual arts experience, also received some of these outstanding artworks.
The paintings make a vital contribution to the creation of a positive environment to aid the recovery process of young patients, and are a valuable support mechanism for their families. Operation Art also enabled its young artists to communicate with, and become proactive in the lives of, other children through their artworks.