Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



A children's art charity in Sellwood, which uses art for therapy, is now doing it by mail during the pandemic

RITA A. LEONARD - THE BEE caught up with CHAPs new Executive Director, Barb McDowell, in the storeroom.Sellwood's "Children's Healing Art Project" (CHAP), is based at 8065 S.E. Grand Ave, #160. New Executive Director Barb McDowell reveals, "CHAP was founded in 2006. We bring the healing power of Art to children and families facing medical challenges. Our program includes a mobile team of teaching artists, who work regularly in local hospitals, clinics, and community art spaces. We visit sixteen different hospital locations every week."

The teaching artists are trained in hospital procedures aimed at the families they serve, and they only work part time, since the work can be emotionally intense. Many teens work with CHAP, and are very good with children. Program Manager Faye Pendergrass organizes communication and volunteers. She tells THE BEE, "Currently we have ten employees and over 750 volunteers. "We help patients and families cope with medical issues and treatment plans. Art activities help children reduce stress, pain, and isolation, and encourage self-expression through various art media such as watercolors, mosaics, sewing, weaving, puppets, masks, jewelry-making, clay, and photography. Unfortunately, our regular Spring Break Open Studios this year was canceled, due to concerns about the coronavirus." But its mail-based services continued. The program's "CHAP in a Box" delivers art supplies to patient families who live outside Portland. "Through OHSU we serve patients from elsewhere in Oregon, and in Washington,. Idaho, Montana, and Alaska," explains McDowell. "These quarterly shipments full of art supplies are delivered right to patient homes, so they can continue to enjoy the healing power of art. To date, CHAP has shipped over 450 boxes to patients' families.

"All activities are based on the needs and choices of the children and their families. Fun art supplies such as felt, foil, pompons, paints, scissors, glue, and collage items are included. Summer Art Workshops for ages 6 through 12 are still being planned at our workshop here. Choose from sculpture arts or visual arts. These classes are free to children facing medical issues; visitors from the community pay a reasonable fee." Learn more by calling 503/243-5294, or go online – – and be patient; the website may load slowly.

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