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Release: March 27, 2001

Children's Hospital of Iowa receives gift of art

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- In celebration of the healing power of laughter, creativity and positive thinking, Children's Hospital of Iowa has received and will display a gift replica of "The Healing Spirits," a painting by accomplished American artist Frederick Brown.

The 3' x 7' photographic reproduction was presented by Gerald "Bud" Pearson, who said, "My wish is that this painting will help speed the recovery of the young patients at Children's Hospital of Iowa and return them to their homes much sooner."

"The Healing Spirits," which took three years to complete, was started by Brown in 1988 after his four-year-old daughter, Sebastienne, who has asthma, grew increasingly ill during a stay in a New York hospital. According to Pearson, the artist was so moved by his daughter's plight that he vowed to do whatever he could to inject joy and happiness into the lives of ill children all over the world.

Many experts in child psychology believe the most important key to the recovery of a sick child lies in stimulating that child's imagination. To that end, Brown created "The Healing Spirits," an expansive 7' x 20' masterpiece, which features a lineup of smiling, joyful clowns.

After the painting was completed, Brown and Pearson visited the Phoenix Children's Hospital. Their mission was to discuss the best way to adapt the painting to a hospital environment in order to have the most positive effect on young patients. After meeting with the staff, the two men decided to produce a "book" describing each clown in the painting. These books stimulate creativity by leaving some of the clowns unfinished for the children to color.

The photographic reproduction and coloring books donated to Children's Hospital of Iowa are on display in Orthopaedics Clinic C, located in the lower level of John Pappajohn Pavilion, near elevator I. For more information, contact Carl Lindquist at (319) 353-6417.

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