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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
208.726.8060 Voice
208.726.2329 Fax

Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

For the week of November 13 - 19, 2002

Arts and Entertainment

Oodles of fun when fun is hard to come by

Express Staff Writer

What’s a really sick kid to do in a hospital? Watch Oprah, or worse?

But don’t despair. Seattle-based Art with Heart programs and workshops came up with an idea. Art with Heart is a spin-off of the American Institute of Graphic Artists. Normally their programs serve inner city, multi-racial children in crisis, ranging in age from 6 to 18.

Door knob sign by Riccardo Stampatori

But with a little divine intervention and inspiration, one of those programs has resulted in a beautifully illustrated and inventive new book, "Oodles of Doodles for Your Noodle!" It was complied especially for children who are bed ridden or hospitalized due to serious or chronic illness.

Michael Carpenter, an Art with Heart Board member and Ketchum resident, was involved in the creation of the book. Carpenter and his partner Robin Reiners also own Gallery DeNovo in Ketchum.

Original art from the book will be featured at their gallery during the Ketchum Gallery Walk on Friday, Nov. 29. All of the proceeds from the sale of the artwork will go to the second printing of the book that is donated to hospitals. The exhibit will remain on display until Dec. 20.

The award winning "Oodles" features work by 97 illustrators and designers, including "Harry Potter" illustrator Mary Grand Pré, as well as Michael Mabry, Milton Glaser, Gary Baseman, Lori Siebert, Charles S. Anderson, Riccardo Stampatori, Gerald Bustamante, Doug Fraser and Joel Nakamura. Of the 17 original works that will be featured at DeNovo Thanksgiving weekend, at least three will be in a silent auction, including the one by Grand Pré. Signed copies of all the "Harry Potter" books will also be a part of the auction.

Here in the valley, Scott’s Frame and Matt, Blue Heron, and Severn Art Services have all donated one complete frame and mount for the show at DeNovo.

Artwork by Coco Masuda

Though the art work is the catchiest aspect of the book, the spiral bound "Oodles" also has calendars, and riddles, imagination station pages, mazes, cutout post cards, cutout masks, removable posters, advice told in approachable means and sections where children can write about themselves and their families.

Within some of the pictures are empty spaces where a sick child may express feelings that are normally hard to put into words.

One charming section has cut out pictures to hang on one’s doorknob as a warning to doctors, nurses and visitors, depending on the patient’s mood. For instance: "Let’s play" or "I am tired today."

"It gives the kids something healthy and positive to do while they’re in the hospital," Reiners said.

Another positive aspect: These books are donated free to hospitals, though they pay shipping and handling at $25 per case of 30 books. So far, more than 8,000 children have received free books.

It all began with the inspiration of two little girls, Heather and Hallie. The book is dedicated to them. Graphic designer, Steffanie Lorig, used to baby sit for Heather, who died of cancer while the book was in progress. And Hallie was diagnosed when she was 10 months old with leukemia.

Peggy Dickens, a friend of Hallie’s, brought her story to the attention of Lorig, who, as a member of AIGA, was involved with Art with Heart. After meeting Hallie she had a vivid dream about putting together a book for kids in hospitals and proceeded to put her contacts and energy toward that goal.

The volunteer project team that she rounded up contacted recreational therapists, art therapists and child life specialists all over the country to find out what special considerations and sensitivities they should be aware of while writing the book. The activities in "Oodles" are based on research that began in May 2000, as well as Art with Heart’s basic goals: to empower children in crisis through creativity. Eventually all the design, layout, graphics, pagination, printing and art was donated.

Besides artists and designers, many medical professionals helped out, including, Dr. Joan Fleitas, a nursing professor at Fairfield University in Conn., who contributed several ideas for the book. She has a Web site that "is very much geared towards helping children have a more pleasant hospital stay," Reiners said.

"I want people to know there are children with chronic diseases here, in Boise and Twin Falls," Reiners said. Local hospitals will benefit from the sale at DeNovo Gallery through donations collected to pay for the cost of shipping the book to St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center and Magic Valley Regional Center.

Heather Jauregui, St. Luke’s Health Foundation director in Boise said, "We are thrilled to have access to such a wonderful book."

People can also donate money for shipping and handling and have a case of books sent to any hospital, one in their hometown perhaps, Reiners said. "Thanksgiving is a time to appreciate what we have."

At the book’s publication celebration in Seattle, Hallie appeared. She’s now 10 years old and in remission. "It’s been a miracle project," Reiners said.



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