How do you capture the heart of compassion? It is a question that was answered at University Hospitals St. John Medical Center last week when Lake Ridge Academy sophomore Olivia Watling unveiled her painting at a special ceremony.
Her painting is part of a thought provoking high school art contest organized by the hospital, where students were asked to artistically interpret compassion.
The painting depicts soldiers assisting a fellow injured soldier, with a Christian and Muslim praying. Olivia was inspired by the unfortunate coinciding histories of religion and war, which have a different purpose but a similar ambition to include something greater than the individuals involved.
Olivia’s large six foot by five foot oil painting is showcased in the walkway between the hospital and building 2, and will be displayed for several months.
Robert G. David, President UH St. John Medical Center, addressed the gathering at the ceremony, stating that compassion is “at the heart of the medical practice at our hospital.” The hospital plans to make the student art competition a regular activity.
Olivia’s visual arts teacher, Timothy Callaghan was very engaged in the process to keep the project moving. The school was awarded $500 to the Lake Ridge Academy art department.
“The topic of compassion is too wide to depict on one canvas,” says Olivia. “Two images that I am inspired by are religion and war, which unfortunately connect. Although religion can be beautiful and war can never be, their concepts have coinciding histories, their purposes are different, yet their ambitions include something greater than that individuals involved. Compassion can be found anywhere, but I found these two images to be profound because of their history and power.”
The community is invited to view Olivia’s work along with her inspiration for the painting.
Olivia is a resident of Lorain. She is also a member of Lake Ridge Academy’s School of Fine Arts, a specialized fine arts curriculum for high school aged students seeking a greater emphasis on developing an artistic talent.