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Doernbecher Patient's Art to Become Permanent Sculptures

Ten-year-old OHSU Doernbecher cancer patient Austin Winters will have his drawings transformed into three-D glass sculptures
Tomorrow, Austin Winters, 10, a budding artist from Hermiston, Ore., receiving care at OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital, will watch his drawings be transformed into three-dimensional art. The sculptures will be included in the Tacoma-based Museum of Glass' (MOG) permanent collection and featured in its upcoming traveling exhibition, Kids Design Glass.

 The MOG Kids Design Glass program is part of the 38th Annual Glass Art Society (GAS) International Glass Conference taking place in Portland, Ore., June 19 - 21. A free public Day of Glass will be held prior to the conference on Wednesday, June 18, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Elements Glass Studio at 1979 N.W. Vaughn. The event will feature: multiple hot glass demonstrations inside the studio as well as out; an art glass exhibition by local artists; designs submitted by children receiving treatment at OHSU Doernbecher; food vendors and more. The Kids Design Glass portion of the event will take place from 2 to 4 p.m.

OHSU Doernbecher and Children's Healing Art Project (CHAP) staff began encouraging patients to submit their designs this spring. The MOG Hot Shop team selected two drawings by Austin and will interpret them into glass. 

"My drawings are of 'Bacon Boy' and 'Frying Pan,'" said Austin. "Bacon Boy is my action figure, my protector. No one can take him away from me. He has a hat and a cape. 'Frying Pan' is the bad guy. He's always trying to cook the bacon, but he hasn't got him yet. I'd like all the kids in the hospital to try to be an artist, but not in the hospital."

Austin was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) in October 2007. He received a bone marrow transplant from his older brother, Chase, 17, at OHSU Doernbecher in March. The transplant was successful, putting Austin's cancer into remission for 58 days. Unfortunately, Austin's cancer has returned. Austin and his parents will attend the Kids Design Glass event and watch Austin's drawings transformed into glass. Austin will receive copies of each sculpture to take home.

"This program has been a great success in Tacoma, and we are very proud to have the opportunity to bring it to the GAS Conference," said Susan Warner, MOG director of public programs."The designs the children submit allow our glassblowers to be innovative and try new techniques. The process is both thrilling for the child and challenging for the artists."

"We were delighted when the MOG contacted OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital and asked to have patients submit their artwork. The kids had a lot of fun doing it," said Susie Bacon, family services director, OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital.

The Museum of Glass introduced the Kids Design Glass program in July 2004 by inviting young museum visitors to submit drawings. In 2007 MOG initiated a partnership with Tacoma's Mary Bridge Children's Hospital to extend the reach of the program to young patients. Each month, one design from all of the submissions is selected by the Hot Shop team. The child and his/her family are invited to the museum to consult with the team as they create the original sculpture.

"There is an inherent drama with this program," comments Warner.  "Not only is it exciting for the child, the Hot Shop audience is affected by the spontaneity of the process."

About OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital
OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital is a world-class facility that each year provides more than 90,000 health care services for children from Oregon, southwest Washington and around the nation, including national and international referrals for specialty care.  In the most patient- and family-centered environment, children have access to a full range of pediatric care, not just serious illness or injury. In addition, nationally recognized physicians ensure that children at OHSU Doernbecher receive outstanding cancer treatment, specialized neurology care and highly sophisticated heart surgery. Pediatric experts from OHSU Doernbecher travel throughout Oregon and southwest Washington to provide pediatric specialty care at more than 20 outreach clinics.

About the Museum of Glass
The Museum of Glass provides a dynamic learning environment to appreciate the medium of glass through creative experiences, collections and exhibitions. In addition to the Hot Shop Amphitheater, where visitors can watch artists work, the facilities include galleries, outdoor exhibition areas, a theater, studio, grand hall, store and café. For more information, visit:


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