CBS 19: UVA Health adds interactive chalkboard murals for patients

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) — More than a dozen new interactive chalkboard murals will be painted throughout the University of Virginia Health System’s Department of Inpatient Psychiatry.

The intent of the murals is to give patients a chance to express themselves in a comfortable environment.

These interactive murals can be found in several patient’s safe spaces, their bedrooms.

Artist of Residence at UVA Hospital’s Psychiatry Unit George Andrews says he thought of this project while conducting art workshops at UVA Health.

“I thought it was important for them to have a permanent platform to sort of interact with their own healing environments creatively,” Andrews said.

He says he received support from the unit’s supervisors and the hospital’s art committee when he pitched this idea.

He then contacted the Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative to get the project moving.

Director of the Arts Initiative and mural project Alan Goffinski says they’re excited to be a part of this special project.

“We were thrilled about it because we really believe that art is a powerful tool for interaction and for engagement with all types of people,” he said.

Mural artist Bolanle Adeboye uses art as an outlet to express herself and is glad to be a part of this project as well.

“It’s the number one way I make sense of the world, and it’s the number one thing that I look to when I don’t feel that great is I check out my environment and I make sure that I’m expressing myself. Usually, it’s something that I’m having inside of me that hasn’t found its outlet,” she said.

Some day, the hospital hopes to expand artwork throughout all of UVA Health.

“We really think that murals are a fantastic way for a community to express itself and connect itself. We really do hope to see this initiative expand out of the rooms, into the hallways, and eventually throughout the whole hospital. That would really be a dream for us,” Goffinski said.