“The Big Picture” is about showing that every little act is important and that people-no matter how old they are or what obstacles they have to overcome - can make a difference. This concept can be applied to people of all ages and helps to promote the mental wellbeing of a sick person. Simultaneously, this project helps to promote volunteerism as people can get involved in numerous ways regardless of their skills. The idea is to get a sick person who is coming to a clinic or is in a hospital involved in decorating the clinic/ward in order to give them a sense of ownership.
Together, we work with the patients to produce paintings where anything is possible (pink grass, orange skies, purple fences)! After everyone has contributed, I put some finishing touches and frame and donate the picture to the clinic/ hospital so the patients can see their work daily.
All paintings developed by this project are copyrighted to the Big Picture Project and are not the property of the patients or the volunteer artists. All original paintings will be donated and cannot be resold. All funds from sales of prints will be used 100% to cover costs of The Big Picture project or for a donation to another cause which will be clearly stated at the time of the sale.
A Little Bit About Me
My name is Shanika Silva, and I am attending the University of Southern California. I am in the World Bachelor of Business Program where I will be studying business in three Universities: University of Southern California, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi in Italy. Advocacy and leadership activities have always been an interest of mine.
I have been a student at Betsy Miller’s “Colors of The Heart” art studio for the past eleven years and have experience in pastels and acrylic paints. When I was younger, my teacher used to do a similar project with the children at the elementary school, and I remember everyone loving it. To this day, I can still point at the piece of the picture that I colored. This experience left a big impression on me when I was younger, and I am hoping to do the same for others now.
How Can You Help?
- University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) - Galveston
- National Cancer Institute - Maharagama, Sri Lanka
- New 61st Street Clinic - Galveston
- Primary Care Pavilion, Galveston
- Rainbow Connection Summer Camp
With the help of so many amazing volunteers, The Big Picture was a big success in Sri Lanka! We completed 5 large paintings that patients did together and 8 individual sketches sent in by volunteers that patients individually colored. Every patient also received a care package. All the paintings were displayed at the Casa Serena Art Gallery and the patients were present at the gallery opening to see their hard work! Prints of the patients’ paintings were sold and 23,000 rupees was donated to buy vital medication. Thank you to our generous sponsors and hardworking volunteers for making this event possible in a few short days!
*Patients were present at both events but not pictured due to patient privacy.*
Mr. Karunarathana at
Sakura Framing Works
Patients from University of Texas Medical Branch - Galveston clinic and 61st Street Clinic helped complete four paintings for the new 61st Street Clinic in Galveston over Thanksgiving Break.. I would like to extend a special thank you to all the clinic staff and volunteers, Fatimah Sayeed, Makaela Toliver, Ashley Hayden, and Mrs. Betsy Miller, for all their hard work to make this possible.
This 4th The Big Picture project on June 22nd was held at the Primary Care Pavilion, Galveston. Shanika Silva, with the help of volunteer Michaela Tolliver set up her make shift art studio in the waiting room of the Pediatric clinic. The theme of the painting was “Undersea Couture” an underwater fishy fashion show. Many patients from the pediatric clinic helped complete the painting. The finishing touches were added by Shanika Silva. The framed painting will hang in the Primary Care Pavilion (Galveston) pediatric clinic.
Sponsors of the event:
- Supplies: Betsy Miller, Colors of the Heart Art Studio.
- Framing of the painting : Dr. Kwabena Sarpong (Pediatrician, UTMB)
This event was featured in the following news papers:
The Big Picture was invited to do the Arts and Crafts day at the Rainbow Connection Camp this year at Camp For All in Brenham, Texas. Rainbow Connection is an organization that aims to provide the ideal summer camp experience to children with cancer and their siblings. They welcomed us with open arms and with the help of amazing volunteers and an artist team, we were able to complete 13 large paintings and over a 100 small ones with these campers. The large paintings will be turned into calendars and prints and the small ones will become Christmas cards, all which will be available for sale as a fundraising effort for both The Rainbow Connection and The Big Picture. These marvelous pieces of art will be hung in the new HematologyOncology clinic at the UTMB Victory Lakes Facility. They will bring a bright nautical feel to this new clinic. We’d like to thank all our volunteers for dedicating their time and our amazing sponsors for making this event a possibility.
*Cards and Calendar ordering information will be posted soon*