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Students ' art decorates halls of McDuffie medical center

The ambulatory care center at McDuffie Regional Medical Center has a new décor accent not usually seen in hospitals. The corridor in the center features artwork by Thomson High School students.

"We just gave them the words, and every one of them came up with something so different," said Lisa Tucker, chief information officer at MRMC. "And the colors are so bright. The patients are going to enjoy it."

A reception was held at the hospital last Thursday for the 11 students, who are all in Claudia Wells' art classes. Mrs. Wells said hospital officials provided five words of inspiration for the students to use as a theme: hope, healing, love, wellness and caring.

"It was difficult, because we had to take a word and make a drawing to go with it," said Jay Lawlis. "That's backwards, because we usually do a drawing and then think of a name for it."

The word theme was the only criteria for the assignment, Mrs. Wells said. The students could express the theme using any medium. The exhibit features drawings and paintings of every style, as well as collages and ceramic sculptures.

"I had to figure out how to use paint, because I've never used paint before," said Brandy King, who normally works with ceramics or pencil. "It wasn't as hard as I thought. I just like art, so I decided to do something different since I had the opportunity."

Parents, school officials, members of the McDuffie Arts Council and hospital officials attended the reception, where each student talked about their work. The students seemed to enjoy seeing their work exhibited outside the classroom, and took time to examine the works of their classmates.

"I think it's great," said Thomson High School Principal Rudy Falana. "It shows the great talent that we have here in McDuffie County."

Ms. Tucker said the students' works impressed the person who worked in the framing department at Hobby Lobby in Augusta.

"There were tears in her eyes, she was so overwhelmed with how good they were. She said she sees a lot of pictures, and these were exceptional," Ms. Tucker said, adding that "when we started taking them out front at the store to pay, people went crazy and wanted to buy them."

Mrs. Wells said the exhibit will change each year so new students can participate.

"This is something that we will enjoy for years to come," said Doug Keir, CEO of MRMC.

Students whose artwork is featured include: Tracy Eggers, Shelby Gary, Tracie Irminger, Brandy King, Jay Lawlis, Hannah Wilson, Christian Morris, James Lee, Rodney Long, Sharisa White, Rebecca Hawkins.

Web posted on Thursday, April 22, 2010

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