Before retiring, Judy Boyette of Four Oaks taught art in the public schools for 37 years. Today, she’s busier than ever, promoting the arts as the president of the Johnston County Arts Council, teaching art to others through a class at the Smithfield Recreation and Aquatics Center, and working, too, as a mural artist.
“I’ve been painting ever since I can remember,” she says. “Murals are fun, especially in kids’ rooms, which can have whimsical scenes and bright colors.”
Boyette is sharing her talents with Johnston Health by volunteering to research, organize and recruit instructors for art therapy classes beginning in January for cancer patients at Johnston Health Hematology & Oncology. In addition, she’s also painting four large canvases of Johnston County scenes that will hang in the oncology center, specifically in the large room where patients receive their chemotherapy. The artwork is part of a project called Art for Hope to brighten up the center in advance of the wellness and nutrition program that will include the art therapy.
Boyette is also organizing an art exhibit that will hang along a hallway at the oncology center. Every two months, a new group of artists will display their work.
During August, the Johnston Health Foundation is leading an online campaign to raise $10,000 for the Art for Hope project, which will include furnishings for a classroom and artwork in the waiting area and the exam and treatment rooms.
“Painting for the oncology department is an opportunity to promote art and to bring the joy of creativity to those who need and could enjoy it,” Boyette says. “Cancer touches everyone. I’ve had friends and family members go through it—some of them here at Johnston Health. So it’s a pleasure and an honor to paint for the hospital,” she says. “I love sharing art and promoting other artists. The arts are important to everyone and touch everyone in a different way.”
The art therapy program requires no prior skill by the patient and will have positive results.
“Art helps patients express emotions in unspoken ways when it may be hard for them to talk about their cancer journey,” she says. “It reduces anxiety and helps the patient relax.”
Boyette says she’s looking forward to recruiting volunteers from among the generous people in Johnston County who want to help with arts activities for the cancer patients.
Please take time to participate in our online giving drive. We have raised $4850 and are almost halfway to our goal of $10,000!